It is not unheard of for elite sportspeople to carry around mascots for good luck, but in national champion Tom Jarvis’ case we’re not talking about a soft toy or lucky kitbag but something on a completely different level!

When Jarvis won the Men’s Singles title at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships at the weekend, he was escorted into the arena by aspiring player Thomas Ellis, one of the Finals Day mascots in Nottingham – just as he had been when he won the title for the first time last year.

Thomas’ mum Rebecca said: “I joked (to Tom) he needed to book him again for next year!

“Thomas loves trying to emulate the top players and was very inspired attending the Senior Nationals as a ball boy and mascot.

“He is working so, so hard and really improving too, he said he would be at the Senior Nationals in six years – I hope he is right but with his hard work I see no reason why not.”

Tom Jarvis said: “He came up to me after the match and said his name’s Tom as well. If he’s around next year, we’ll see if we can extend our run – we might become known as the Lucky Toms!”

Thomas is the younger brother of Toby and Bethany Ellis, who both competed at the tournament in Nottingham.

Talent certainly seems to run in the family – Toby was a semi-finalist in the Men’s Doubles alongside Nahom Asgedom, and qualified for the knockout stages in both the Men’s Singles and Under-21 Men’s Singles, while Bethany matched that feat in the Women’s Singles.

Thomas won North West U11 Inter-regional qualifiers recently and, as well as attending the finals of that competition in May, will be competing at the Butterfly Schools Individual Finals next month. He has beaten several adults in the Preston TTA League’s Handicap Cup this season.