Teenage table tennis talent does town proud

Hartlepool table tennis ace Joseph Cope, 13.
Hartlepool table tennis ace Joseph Cope, 13.

A sporty schoolboy did his family, school and town proud when he competed in a recent table tennis championships.

Thirteen-year-old Joseph Cope – who is seeded 13th best table tennis player in the country for his age – competed in the Schools National Finals at the Tipton Sports Academy, in the West Midlands.

He had many people commenting on how well he played and even had one dad express how he thought one of the games he played was the best table tennis he had seen all day.

Louise Cope, proud mum

The Manor College of Technology pupil had to compete against some strong players and secured a place in the last 16, by winning four out of his five games.

The next round though saw Joseph beaten by a youngster seeded number one in the country.

Despite the defeat, his family say they were incredibly proud – especially as he has now qualified for another championship final in Sheffield on June 6, in the under-13s, under-14s, and the doubles.

Joseph’s mum, Louise, 35, said: “Joseph played some fantastic table tennis in his group games battling through every point.

“He had many people commenting on how well he played and even had one dad express how he thought one of the games he played was the best table tennis he had seen all day.

“In the next round Joe was faced with the number one seed for the under 13s. He did not seemed phased by it but knew it was going to be a challenge.

“Joe had never played this lad before, he fought for every point, and battled to keep on top. He kept neck and neck on points but unfortunately the other boy had the upper hand and won the game.”

She added: “Joe may not have won but he did not give up.

“We saw a change in Joseph - he battled for his points, he never gave up, and made us proud.”

Talented Joseph first held a table tennis bat on holiday with his family when he was just 18 months old.

Toddler Joseph would sit on the end of the table and hit the ball baby-style.

But when he hit the age of eight, the sporty youngster decided to give up his other loves of football and street dancing and take up table tennis as his full-time.