The first SHEplays Girls’ Talent event saw 30 girls showcase their skills and receive expert coaching – with GB’s Anna Hursey providing extra stardust.

The event in Nottingham marked a significant milestone in identifying and empowering young, talented female players.

Throughout the day, participants aged eight to 11 had the opportunity to explore various taster stations, including multiball, service practice, fun games and fundamental skills, all under the guidance of dedicated female coaches from the SHEcoaches Cohort – Emily Bolton, Eva Toth, Joanne Green and Colette Neenan – in addition to the GB Futures Lead Coach, Gordon Fearn.

The highlight of the event was a special question-and-answer session with Anna, who, at the age of 17, has qualified for her first Olympics Games in Paris this summer.

This session provided an invaluable opportunity for the girls to gain insights into Anna’s table tennis journey and be inspired by her achievements. The event not only showcased the girls’ talents but also emphasised the importance of mentorship and support in nurturing young female athletes within the sports community.

Evie Collier, Performance Logistics Officer at Table Tennis England, said: “The SHEplays day was a remarkable platform of talent and inspiration, as we hosted 30 girls actively participating and showcasing their skills.

“We were incredibly grateful that Anna Hursey was able to support on the day. Anna was not only a source of inspiration for the girls but has served role model for them to aspire towards.

“Moving forward, we are excited to explore ways to further engage and support girls within the talent pathway, fostering a community of strong, determined young players.”

Gordon Fearn added: “It was great to see so many female players and coaches coming together to participate in the talent ID day.

“This gave a wonderful opportunity to create a positive environment where they could gain confidence to help them on their journey to reach their full potential.”