The GB Para Table Tennis Team is preparing for this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio but is already looking towards the 2020 Games in Tokyo with two Talent Recruitment Days next month in Cardiff (March 12) and Plymouth (March 13).
These events provide a free opportunity for any disabled person to come and take part in an introduction to table tennis session. Para table tennis includes classes for a wide range of disabilities, both ambulant and wheelchair-bound athletes, as well as those with learning difficulties and is one of the most inclusive of the Paralympic sports.
Since taking four medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games the GB team has gone from strength to strength. It enjoyed its most successful ever European Championships last year with 11 medals and now boasts two current World number ones in World champion Will Bayley and double European champion Rob Davies among its brightest prospects for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
In addition to a 14-strong Performance Squad the team now has thriving Pathway and Development Squads bringing on young players and introducing them to International competition. Among the athletes that have come through the Pathway Squad are 17 year old Billy Shilton and 16 year old Megan Shackleton, who both won European medals in their first major championship last year.
“We have a very talented GB squad,” said GB Pathway and Development Coach Shaun Marples, “but we are always planning for the future. At these Talent Recruitment Days we are looking for anybody who shows potential to be the next Paralympic star and once they have been identified we can assist in signposting them to their nearest club and begin their training.”
The event in Cardiff runs from 11.00am – 3.00pm on Saturday, March 12 at the Welsh Institute of Sport and the event in Plymouth runs from 11.00am – 2.00pm at Eggbuckland College. Anyone wanting further information should call 0114 261 8681.