Two team medals for Britain in Czech Open

There were two medals for the squad of young British Pathway and Development athletes in the team events on the final day at the PTT Czech Open in Ostrava, with teenagers Jack Stockdale and Shae Thakker taking bronze in the men’s class 9-10 team and 22 year old Lucie Bouron picking up bronze in the women’s class 1-5 team with her Chilean partner Tamara Leonelli Leonelli.

Lucie Bouron Nat Champs 2017Bouron and Leonelli Leonelli came through their group with 2-0 wins against combined teams from Argentina/Netherlands and Israel/Greece. That set up a semi-final against the class 3 World number four Andela Muzinic and World number 10 Helena Dretar and the Croatian pair proved too experienced for the young British/Chilean combination, winning the doubles 3-0 before Muzinic clinched their place in the final with a 3-0 win against Leonelli Leonelli.

“I’m feeling pleased with this tournament,” said Bouron. “I feel that I’ve played some good table tennis here and that has been shown by my medal in the team event. There are definitely some positives coming through in my matches and some areas to take home and work on.”

Stockdale, 17, from Romford and 14 year old Thakker from Slough lost their opening group match to Czech Republic but progressed to the semi-finals after a 2-0 win against Craig Allen and his Hungarian partner Barnabas Retter, with Stockdale defeating Retter 3-0 in the first singles to clinch the tie.

The young British pair were no match for Poland in their semi-finJack Stockdale v Misztal (POL) Czech Openal, losing the doubles to the more experienced Pawel Konstantyn and Pawel Jablonski before Stockdale was beaten by Igor Misztal in the first singles.

“Being able to play in my first senior tournament was a great opportunity for me,” said Stockdale. “Even though I didn’t play my best I came away with a lot of things to work on. Overall it was a good learning curve for me and I was very happy to win a medal in the team event with Shae.”

“This tournament has been extremely challenging for me,” said Thakker. “I haven’t been at my best but it has shown me the areas that I need to work on and start to develop. I will learn from the experience and reflect on it in order to improve. I’m very happy to win a medal in the team event with Jack.”

Dan Bullen and Philippe Durieux from France lost their four matches in the round-robin men’s class 5 event while in men’s class 6-7 Conor McAdam and Assaf Gofer from Israel went out after losses to Croatia, Slovakia and Japan, and Ryan Henry and Alex Bland also went out of men’s class 8 at the group stage after losses to Poland and a combined team from Hungary and Thailand.

GB assured of two team medals tomorrow in Ostrava

With the team events in the Czech Open to be decided tomorrow Lucie Bouron and her Chilean partner Tamara Leonelli (women’s class 1-5) and Jack Stockdale and Shae Thakker (men’s class 9-10) are assured of at least a bronze medal after progressing to the semi-finals of their respective events.

Bouron and Leonelli lost to top seeds Croatia but went through after 2-0 wins against Argentina/Netherlands and Israel/Greece, while Stockdale and Thakker progressed after a 2-0 win against Craig Allen and his Hungarian partner Barnabas Retter.

Dan Bullen and Philippe Durieux from France lost their three matches today in men’s class 5 and play their final match in the round robin event tomorrow. In men’s class 6-7 Conor McAdam and Assaf Gofer from Israel are out after losses to Croatia, Slovakia and Japan, and Ryan Henry and Alex Bland also went out of men’s class 8 at the group stage after losses to Poland and a combined team from Hungary and Thailand.

Davies takes gold in Czech Open

Paralympic champion Rob Davies has taken gold in the men’s class 1 singles at the PTT Czech Open in Ostrava ahead of his bid to win a third consecutive European title later this month.

The 33 year old Welshman came from 2-1 down in the semi-finals to defeat Federico Falco, the Italian who had beaten him in the German Open earlier this year, and then recovered from losing the first set to beat Endre Major from Hungary 3-1 in the final to clinch the gold.

DAVIES Robert GBR with Neil Robinson Czech Open“It’s good to be back and to get the gold,” said Davies. “I didn’t play my best but I’m happy with the way that I dug deep to get the results. It was a difficult match against Falco and it was good to get one back over him. It was a very close game and I was pleased with how I played in the last set. This tournament has been about learning how to play again and get my match tactics right.

“I’m reasonably happy with where I am at the moment. I know what I need to work on over the next three weeks so I can go to the Europeans with more confidence now.”

Posted in GB

Davies through to semi-final in Czech Open

DAVIES Robert GBR 1_MG_1194 Czech OpenParalympic champion Rob Davies is through to the semi-finals of the men’s class 1 singles at the Czech Open in Ostrava tomorrow. The 33 year old Welshman came from 2-1 down to beat the Argentinian Fernando Eberhardt 3-2 in his final group match to secure top place in his group. He will play Federico Falco, the young Italian who beat Davies in the German Open in June, for a place in the final.

With a number of Europe’s leading players taking the opportunity for some match practice ahead of the European Championships later this month it was a tough day for the young British players from the Pathway and Development squads.

HENRY Ryan GBR_MG_1255 Czech OpenRyan Henry did well to progress from his group in men’s class 8 with wins against Dorel Muresan from Romania 3-1 and Lukas Maxa from Czech Republic 3-0 before understandably finding the former Paralympic and World champion Mathieu Loicq from Belgium too experienced in their last 16 match.

Lucie Bouron started with a 3-1 win against Foteini Bousiou from Greece in the women’s class 3 singles and finished third in the round-robin event after losses to the World number four Andela Muzinic and her fellow Croatian Helena Dretar, the World number 10.

In men’s class 5 Dan Bullen lost to Claudiomiro Segatto from Brazil, the World number 12, (0-3) and Elias Romero from Argentina (1-3) but fought back from 2-0 down against Milos Tesar from Czech Republic to win 3-2 and claim third place in his group. Alex Bland also recorded a win in men’s class 7 – 3-1 against Maksym Chudsicki from Poland 3-1 – and finished third in his group after 3-0 losses to Daniel Horut from the Czech Republic and Hiromoto Kita frim Japan.

Jack Stockdale defeated Ahmed Almutairi from Saudi Arabia 3-0 but a 3-0 loss to the World number nine Ivan Karabec from Czech Republic left him needing to beat the Italian Lorenzo Cordua in his final match to progress. He made a good start, taking the first set 12-10 but a 3-1 loss left him in third place in the group. Shae Thakker finished fourth in the other men’s class 10 group after losing in four close sets to Dario Neira from Argentina.

Conor McAdam had a tough group in men’s class 6, which included the World number 6 Pavao Jozic from Croatia, and Craig Allen was also knocked out at the group stages in men’s class 9 after losses to Pawel Konstantyn from Poland and Barnabas Retter from Hungary.

Posted in GB

Martin Perry – Playing my part Video

Please find link below to a video from Sport Scotland for one of our Performance Squad athletes Martin Perry class 6.

Martin is based at Drumchapel Table Tennis Club in Glasgow and has embraced table tennis since he started playing – He’s worked very hard to move up the ranks both nationally and internationally.

Martin Perry

Martin is the current Class 6 British Champion and joined the main GB Performance squad early in 2017, he’s still making great progress internationally currently ranked 20 and moving steadily higher.



Davies heads British squad for Czech Open

rob-davies-day-1-smiling-after-winning-match-v-kellerParalympic champion Rob Davies will prepare for the defence of his European title at the end of September by competing in the PTT Czech Open in Ostrava this week (September 7-9). The 33 year old Welshman who won gold in the men’s class 1 singles in Rio will be joined by a squad of eight young British Pathway and Development players including Jack Stockdale, gold medallist in this year’s Italian Junior (U23) Open, Romania Junior (U23) Open champions Conor McAdam, Craig Allen and Shae Thakker, and Alex Bland, gold medallist in the men’s class 7 team event at the Spanish Open in June.

“Training has been going well,” said Davies, “and I’m looking forward to playing some matches. It will be a good warm-up for the Europeans – there are some good players in my class including the Italian Federico Falco who beat me in Germany earlier this year so I hope that I get to play him again. I’m not at my peak yet but I’m getting there so I’m happy with where I am at the moment.”

The full British squad for the Czech Open is:
Craig Allen – class 9 (Bromsgrove)
Alex Bland – class 7 (Rotherham)
Lucie Bouron – class 3 (Bracknell)
Daniel Bullen – class 5 (St Neots)
Rob Davies – class 1 (Brecon)
Ryan Henry – class 8 (Ardrossan)
Conor McAdam – class 6 (Dundonald)
Jack Stockdale – class 10 (Romford)
Shae Thakker – class 10 (Slough)

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Young players gain valuable experience on Slovakia training camp

Slovakia Camp August 2017Ten young British players have just returned from a week in Slovakia training at the Table Tennis For All Centre in Privezda. The opportunity was open to all British Para Table Tennis members to attend the self-funding camp which also included three international Para players from Norway – Sebastien Vegsund (class 4) Steffen Salomonsen (class 8) and Frederik Jacobsen (class 8) – as well as World ranked top 300 able bodied players Luka Fucec from Croatia and Igor Zavadskyi from Ukraine and a variety of experienced sparring partners.

The camp was organised by the BPTT Pathway Manager Shaun Marples and the British contingent included recent international medalists Alex Bland, Lucie Bouron and Ryan Henry. The head coach at the Table Tennis For All Centre is the former Slovakian Para Table Tennis Team manager Sasa Dragas, who has been working with the British Performance Squad this year.

“The main aim of the training camp was to give some of our young BPTT members the opportunity to experience an International Training Camp,” said Marples. “The camp could not have gone any smoother; Sasa and his team have done a fantastic job in supporting the organisation and we had players from Norway, Slovakia and Croatia there for the full camp. The standard of practice was at a good level and everybody gained a lot of experience. Each player gained some valuable table time and knowledge from the other sparring partners and coaches and we are looking forward to planning next year’s camp. The atmosphere was great all week, both on and off the table.”

Andrew Green from Billingham was one of four players making their first trip abroad with the British team and said, “I have enjoyed the training over the week and it has motivated me to train harder to achieve my goals.”

He was accompanied by his grandfather Chris Samuels, who commented: “I enjoyed watching Andrew during the training sessions, learning and taking on board new techniques to improve his game. The facilities for the coaching and accommodation here are second to none.”

The 10 British athletes on the camp were:
Alex Bland (Rotherham)
Lucie Bouron (Bracknell)
Andrew Green (Billingham)
Cellan Hall (Bridgend)
Felicity Pickard (Burnley)
Kerenza Downes (Exeter)
Jack Lawrence (Filey)
Ryan Henry (Ardrossan)
Tamlan Eastwood (Pontardawe)
Tamar Packford (Blackpool)

Posted in GB

Baker joins legends on UK Sport Coaching Fellowship

Greg Baker 2014The British Para Table Tennis Team’s head coach Greg Baker has joined legendary coaches Sir David Brailsford, Jurgen Grobler, Baroness Sue Campbell and Malcolm Arnold OBE in becoming an honorary member of UK Sport’s Coaching Fellowship, which aims to champion the coaching profession and support the development of world class coaches in the UK.

Baker is one of nine coaches from a range of sports to have graduated this year from UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Programme and at the age of 31 is the youngest to receive a Fellowship.

Chris Stott, Elite Programme Coordinator at UK Sport, said: “Greg was selected by the Fellows themselves to join them as a result of his sustained coaching success on the world stage, his commitment and growth to self-development through the Elite Programme and for his passion for coaching. Greg’s commitment to the Elite Programme saw him develop both as a coach and personally, contributing to the fantastic results of his athletes and inspiring the nation.”

Born and raised in Birmingham but now based in Sheffield where the British Para Table Tennis Team trains at the English Institute of Sport, Baker started playing table tennis at the age of eight and lived at the National England Academy as a junior. He represented England from the age of 12-20, played in five European Youth Championships and was ranked England number 1 in U12, U15 and U18 age groups. In 2001 he took up coaching and joined the GB Para Table Tennis Team in 2006. After winning four medals in London 2012, the team won 11 medals at the European Para Championships in 2015 and three medals in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games – including individual golds for Will Bayley and Rob Davies.

Having been selected for the Elite Coaching Programme, Baker took part in a rigorous three year course of personal and professional development from 2014-17, both as part of a group and individually, with unparalleled access to expertise, technology and experiences from within and outside the sports industry.

Rob Davies with coach Greg Baker after winning final“The Elite Programme has been a great experience,” he said, “and has taught me a lot about leadership and how to manage a team of people as well as providing valuable advice on coaching. I really enjoy working with Para athletes because of the range of disabilities involved and the challenge that presents. To take a group of athletes from Beijing in 2008 where we didn’t win any medals to winning three medals in Rio, including beating China in the team event after they beat us comfortably eight years ago, has been very rewarding and I’m very proud of what we have achieved as a team.

“I am absolutely delighted and privileged to be offered a place on UK Sport’s Coaching Fellowship. I am extremely passionate about coaching and what it can do to change people’s lives and the impact it has on elite performance. Great Britain has an excellent and ever developing coaching workforce and I believe the Fellowship can help to bring those coaches together to share knowledge, best practice and experiences to create an even stronger British coaching system. I look forward to continuing to develop my own coaching experience and helping in any way I can to improve the direction and shape of coaching in the UK.”

Gorazd Vecko, Performance Director for the British Para Table Tennis Team, said: “Greg’s commitment and dedication to Para table tennis has been a significant factor in the success of the team over the past five years. He is always looking to improve and he fully deserves the recognition from UK Sport and the Fellowship. His enthusiasm and energy are a great example to any coach and an inspiration to the athletes in our squad.”

Information for Members of British Para Table Tennis






Information for Members of British Para Table Tennis (BPTT)

I wanted you all to be the first within our sport to know about the next changes the Board has agreed to going forward. We had tremendous coverage on Channel 4 at the Rio Paralympics and our players gave outstanding performances along with the coaches and support staff. Since returning from Rio our athletes took part in Manchester, London and Welsh Parades, others visited Buckingham Palace, appeared on numerous TV programmes and community engagements, followed by Will Bayley and Rob Davies both receiving the MBE thus raising the profile of Table Tennis Paralympians.

I feel we are at present we are in a good place We have now approved the new BPTT logo and it will appear on the new team kit in September 2017. It is attached with information on how it is to be used.

BPTT Logo Guidelines

We have nearly completed the arrangements for the production of a new web site and new email addresses for staff working on the World Class Performance Programme will also follow shortly. Alongside this agreements are all now in place for Tokyo 2020 with the Elite Squad now in training. Watch this space……

Yours in sport

Karen Tonge MBE


British Para Table Tennis


National Lottery funded athletes and parkrun team up to inspire the nation to get active

On Saturday 19 August, The National Lottery, UK Sport and parkrun UK are inviting the nation to join Britain’s top athletes at #teamparkrun events across the UK.

To celebrate the public’s support of elite and community sport through playing The National Lottery, the nation’s sporting heroes will take to parkrun events across the UK to volunteer and inspire the nation to get active.

#teamparkrun will also be backed by Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, Sport Northern Ireland, the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association, as well as a host of national governing bodies, and follows on from the success of I am Team GB last year, which inspired nearly 1 million people to take part in the nation’s biggest ever sports day. I Am Team GB celebrated the success of Britain’s athletes at the Rio 2016 Games and the role the nation played through the support they give elite athletes by playing The National Lottery.

On 19 August 2017, following the IPC and IAAF World Athletics Championships, hosted in the iconic London Stadium which was the epicentre of the London 2012 Games, National Lottery-funded athletes from across various Olympic and Paralympic sports will take to parks across the UK to act as volunteer Tail Walkers, who ensure that no one ever finishes last at a parkrun event.

National Lottery players have been backing Britain’s record-breaking Olympic and Paralympic athletes for 21 years this year, and to say ‘thank you’ to all these players, athletes will be taking up the role as Tail Walkers to get right behind the nation as they try parkrun for the very first time – either walking, jogging, running or volunteering themselves – with a view to starting their journey to a more healthy, active lifestyle.

Over 630 parkruns (5k) and junior parkruns (2k) take place every weekend across the UK, and are a free, sociable and highly accessible way for everyone to take their first steps towards a more active lifestyle, whether they choose to walk, jog, run or volunteer the first time they go along.

Dame Katherine Grainger, five time Olympic medallist and the newly appointed Chair of UK Sport, said: “The nation, and specially National Lottery players, have been backing us as athletes for 21 years now and none of us would be where we are today without their support.

“While sport and activity are integral to our lifestyles, we know that for some people taking up activity for the first time can be a scary prospect. parkrun offers a free, friendly and welcoming way to start, and our athletes will be there on August 19 to make any newcomers feel extra welcome.

“If you’ve been thinking about getting active, join #teamparkrun on August 19; you’ve been right behind us for so long and now your athletes will be right behind you!”

Nick Pearson, Chief Executive of parkrun, said: “One of the most common reasons that people register with parkrun but don’t go on to take part is because they don’t feel capable of running 5k. This initiative, which will see GB athletes supporting parkrunners, will reinforce the message that not only do we encourage walkers at parkrun, but that all of our events have volunteer Tail Walkers who provide support along the course.”

Arabella Gilchrist, Head of The National Lottery Brand, said: “#teamparkrun offers a brilliant way of celebrating the support the public gives British sport by playing The National Lottery.

“No one does more to contribute to elite athletes or community sports projects than our players. #teamparkrun will thank our players by connecting our Lottery-funded athletes with their local parkrun to inspire everyone, no matter what their level of fitness, to get active. We hope to see plenty of first-time parkrunners, joining their sporting heroes at their local event.”