Hartlepool teenager chosen for England table tennis squad

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

A young table tennis player from Hartlepool proved his potential for future success by being chosen for the sport’s national youth squad.

Talented 13-year-old Joe Cope, who is one of the best players in the country for his age, has been selected by Table Tennis England to be in its England Youth Squad for 2015-16.

He was overwhelmed when the squad was announced

Louise Cope, Joe’s mum

The Manor Academy student is part of the squad’s development group, which has only 15 members after proving his worth during a series of assessments over the summer.

Joe’s proud mum Louise Cope, 35, said: “He was overwhelmed when the squad was announced. It is something he has aimed for in the last year.

“He set himself a goal and he got there. He always seems to achieve the targets he sets for himself.

“The school are also very excited for him as well and are over the moon.”

Joe had to undergo a number of fitness test and was observed at the table by a top coach.

As a member of the development squad players he will attend monthly sessions at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, in Shropshire, as well as having regular contact and support from the national coaching staff.

Simon Mills, Table Tennis England’s Head of Coaching and Performance, said: “We have expanded the squad this year from 28 to 31 youngsters and will be supporting them as much as possible to give them a chance to succeed on the international stage.

“We will also have a number of additional players in an observation group and will monitor their progress. We are excited to see how these young players develop.”

Joe, of Owton Manor, Hartlepool, was inspired to play the sport after watching his older brother Jack, 16, at the table. Earlier this year he competed in the Schools National Finals in the West Midlands.

Joe is a member of Northfield Table Tennis Club, based in Billingham. Club member Joe Clark, has also been named in the national squad’s new Performance Squad.