Widnes table tennis champion prepares for the European Championships (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Gifted Widnes table tennis champion to compete for GB in Italy
A GIFTED table tennis champion’s dream of reaching the Paralympics in Rio is taking shape.
Former pupil at SS Peter & Paul Catholic College, Jack Hunter-Spivey, aged 18, now trains full time with the GB squad.
He is currrently preparing for the European Championships in Italy which start on Sunday and recently gained two bronze medals at the Czech Open.
Wheelchair player Jack, of Stewards Avenue, Widnes, has cerebral palsy and is ranked 25 in the world.
He said: “I’ve got loads of fire in my belly to get to Rio. It would mean the world to me, a dream come true.
“Training has been really really good. Italy is the first major championship. I will play the best I can.
“I feel that I can compete now with players ranked above me and I’ve taken games off some of the best players so hopefully I can continue that at the Europeans.”
Jack was blind and deaf until he was nine months old.
He discovered his passion for table tennis when he was a young schoolboy and trained at Halton Table Tennis Club.
He was invited to his first GB development camp at 11 and joined the performance squad two years ago.
Liverpool fan Jack, who trains six hours a day, said: “Representing your country is a massive achievement.
“I’ve always been open-minded. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t stop me. It’s just a mode of transport.
“I’ve got to be in the top 12 in the world by the end of 2015 to compete in Rio. It works on points so it’s not too much to achieve.
“Missing out on selection for London has made me fight even harder.”
He said he has great support from his mum, Renee, step-father Rob, brother Chris and sister Romana-Dawn.
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