Opportunity for new Welsh talent in Swansea Grand Prix

Opportunity for new Welsh talent in Swansea Grand Prix

Aspiring Para table tennis players will have the opportunity to take part in a free training session and talent recruitment session prior to next month’s BPTT Swansea Grand Prix taking place at Swansea Tennis Centre on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13.

The event is in partnership with Disability Sport Wales and Table Tennis Wales and is part of the Para Sport Festival.

Wales has a proud history of producing international Para players including Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Rob Davies, 2022 Commonwealth champion and World silver medallist Joshua Stacey, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic medallists Tom Matthews and Paul Karabardak and World doubles champion Grace Williams.

Four-time Paralympian Karabardak was the pride of Swansea after taking singles bronze and team silver in Tokyo and became World doubles champion in 2022 with Billy Shilton.

"I'm thrilled that the BPTT Para Open will be in Swansea,” said the Swansea City fan. “It’s always been a great event when I have attended over the last two years in Cardiff and Merthyr.

I think it’s excellent for the development of Para Table Tennis in Wales and will be brilliant for younger players to come and play against the top British players. Hopefully it will inspire them to be better and push on to get to the same level. 

"Table Tennis has been brilliant for me. It has pushed me to be as good as I can be as a sportsman and as a person. It has given me the opportunity to earn a living for the past 24 years while travelling the world and it has given me the chance to experience things and achieve things that wouldn’t have been possible without table tennis while meeting lots of people and making a lot of friends that I will have for life.

"My advice to anyone thinking of giving table tennis a go would be to enjoy it and be patient. Table tennis is a very difficult sport where you very rarely see instant improvement or results, but it is a wonderful sport that is always different and exciting."

Welsh Paralympic legend Neil Robinson competed in seven Paralympic Games in the table tennis events from 1984 to 2008, winning six medals including gold in the men’s class 3 team event and silver in the men’s class 3 singles in Barcelona 1992. Since retiring from competition Robinson has attended another three Paralympic Games as a coach with the British Para Table Tennis Team.

"It's great to be welcoming a Para table tennis event to the University of Swansea,” he said. "It's a valuable opportunity for all Para table tennis players - those new to the sport can develop and benefit from coaching and advice on the Friday and then compete on the Saturday while for the more experienced players it's an opportunity for a meaningful competition.

"Wales has been a 'hotbed' for Para table tennis players for decades winning Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth medals and with this event British Para Table Tennis and Disability Sport Wales are looking to continue this trend and give everyone the chance to get involved in Para table tennis."

Further information is available here: https://www.britishparatabletennis.com/products/bptt-swansea-grand-prix-2024-12th-and-13th-july