12 Oct 2017
Whitgift Lower Sixth Former selected for England table tennis youth squad

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James Smith

Table Tennis England has announced their national Youth Squad for the 2017/18 season, with Whitgift’s James Smith in the line-up. The Lower Sixth Form pupil, a regular on the London competition circuit, has been named in the 11-strong Junior team, having advanced from last year’s Cadet level.

According to Table Tennis England, the players were selected “following the annual assessments held during the summer, and will participate in regular training camps, as well as focus on individual training and fitness programmes.” The squad will also receive personal input from national coaches between camps and a personalised development programme.

In 2016, James won the U15 National Cup, in Bristol, followed by the U19 National Cup at the Table Tennis England’s Butterfly ESTTA Individual finals, held in Wolverhampton later in the season. At the time, as a 15-year-old, he was competing against players up to three years older.

The Whitgift boarder has also helped make an impact on the team circuit as a member of the Whitgift U19 table tennis team. After winning the London South Championships, the team - George Hazell, Reiss Vydelingum, Jason Kwok and James - qualified for the coveted U19 ESTTA national championships, in Hinckley, facing the 2016 winners in the final. Whitgift’s powerhouse team emerged victorious.

Whitgift looks forward to following James’ progress and that of the U19 team.