Tickets for the ITTF European Para Table Tennis Championships 2023 in Sheffield from September 4-9 are now on sale.
Prices start at £12 for a full day ticket and a 30 per cent group discount is available on purchases of 10 or more. Carers and children aged five and under (accompanied by an adult) have free entry.
A total of 22 places at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris are on offer at the event, which will be only the second time that Great Britain’s elite Para table tennis players have competed on home soil since London 2012.
It follows a successful Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year when Jack Hunter-Spivey and Joshua Stacey won gold in their respective classes.
The six-day tournament is being held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and will see 267 players from 35 countries compete in singles and doubles competitions across 11 classes, comprising five for wheelchair athletes (C1-C5), five for standing athletes (C6-C10) and one for athletes with an intellectual impairment who meet sport-specific criteria for Para table tennis.
The European Championships is one of the major tournaments in the Para table tennis calendar and this year’s event carries extra importance as the winners of each of the men and women’s singles classes will secure qualification for the 2024 Paralympic Games. Players can also gain world ranking points which will contribute towards qualification for Paris.
The GB team is heading into the tournament in good form after its best ever performance at last year’s world championships in Spain, where the team won 10 medals, including three golds. It followed a seven-medal haul at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, which included two silver and five bronze.
World champion and 2016 Paralympic champion, Will Bayley, said: “It is amazing to have a major tournament like the Europeans at home. Since I started playing in 2006, I’ve only played in an international tournament twice in the UK so it’s going to be really special to have the British public supporting us in a home Europeans.
“The EIS in Sheffield is the home of British Para table tennis and we’re really comfortable there so it will be an advantage but we’ve got to make sure we capitalise on that and perform to our best. I think as a team we can do really well.
“London 2012 was the most special memory of my career and although I lost in the final it was definitely my favourite Paralympics because the support of the crowd was unbelievable. I felt like a superstar for two weeks.
“It has been a long time since then so it will be great to have something like that at the Europeans. I know we have great support from the British public, so I’m excited for that as well.”
Outside of last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the last international Para table tennis event to be held in the UK was the London 2012 Paralympic Games, 11 years ago. Staging the European Championships will provide a valuable opportunity to showcase Para table tennis to a wide audience and give sports fans an opportunity to see world class action live and in the flesh.
The European Para Table Tennis Championships is an ITTF event which is supported by funding from the National Lottery and Sheffield City Council and will be delivered in association with a range of partners including UK Sport, British Para Table Tennis and Table Tennis England.
Event suppliers include: Butterfly, Neon Flooring, 729 – Table Tennis Balls and the Crowne Plaza Hotel Sheffield.