Northern Ireland’s top four table tennis players
finally got confirmation on 3rd January of their selection for the team going to the Commonwealth Games
in the Gold Coast, April 2018. Having already achieved a Bronze Medal in the Commonwealth TT Championships, the team is focussed on another podium place.
Most athletes go through a financial struggle trying to be the best at their sport - and our table tennis players are going through an even harder time since Sport NI pulled the plug on any performance funding. Determined to prove themselves on the international stage, our top four are faced with substantial training and travel costs in preparation for the Games, including training camps in Hungary and Sweden. The TeamPaul McCreery
25 years old from Saintfield, Co Down. He is 4 times Irish National Champion, and Gold Coast will be his 3rd Commonwealth Games. He currently plays for Lille in National 1 and Ormeau TT Club in the British Premier League.
Paul says "in the 2014 Commonwealth Games team event we had a narrow 3-2 loss to bronze medallists Nigeria, proving that we can challenge for a spot on the podium".
24 years old, from Clogher, Co Tyrone. He trains full-time in Sweden, and plays for Vetlanda BTK (Sweden), Saint Louis (France) and Belfast Club Ormeau in the British Premier League.
Ashley says "it’s important to go to the Commonwealth Games to prove you can compete with the best and you belong on the world stage. I hope to achieve a top 8 finish minimum and get as close to a medal as possible!"Zak Wilson
, 19 years old, from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. He plays full-time in Germany for Hannover 96 and his home club is Glenburn TT Club.
Zak says "it is important for me to go to the Commonwealth Games because it is the highest level that you can represent Northern Ireland. Being in the hall with so many good players is an inspiring feeling".Owen Cathcart
, 15 years old, from Belfast. He plays in the British Premier League for Ormeau TT Club, and has won 3 World Junior Tour Gold Medals in Europe.
Owen says "it is a great experience to compete at such a major games. I would like to try and repeat our medal from the Commonwealth Championships in 2016".All donations will fund the players' tournament and training expenses for the Commonwealth Games. They thank you in anticipation of your support.