Jack Hunter-Spivey says entering the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships Qualifying Tournament will help him sharpen his skills ahead of his campaign to get to the Paris Paralympics.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist is one of several para players to have entered the Qualifying Tournament, which is on the weekend of January 6-7, 2024, at the David Ross Sports Village in Nottingham.
He says taking on a series of able-bodied opponents will challenge him to lift his game to new heights and be an ideal start to his preparations for his Paralympics qualifying quest.
Hunter-Spivey said: “I’ve entered for some match-play, but also I like to give myself new challenges. I want to be good at table tennis, not just para table tennis and put myself out there and take on some of the best players in the country.
“I don’t have any set expectations about what I can do in terms of results – I want to go out and see how I get on and put into practice things I’ve been working on.”
As well as Hunter-Spivey, fellow GB para players Fliss Pickard, Aaron McKibbin, Billy Shilton and Ash Facey are confirmed entries, with others including Will Bayley also potentially targeting the tournament.
How to enter
Those who finish in the top 14 places, male and female, at the Qualifying Tournament will qualify for the Mark Bates Ltd Senior Nationals at the same venue in March.
Click here to download the tournament reference document and regulations.
Entry is online only via TT Memberships (Sport:80) and the closing date is 11.59pm on Wednesday December 13.
“We’re definitely doing this tournament to help with the preparation for Paris,” said Hunter-Spivey, “but it’s also good to see the two organisations (Table Tennis England and British Para Table Tennis) working together to improve.”
Hunter-Spivey’s matches will be played under certain rules adaptations which are in place when a wheelchair player plays against an able-bodied opponent. Watch the video below to see which rules are adapted – and how clubs and leagues can easily implement these changes in their own competitions.