Table tennis player Joe impresses at national event
A Hartlepool table tennis player played his heart out at a national championships to reach the quarter finals.
Fourteen-year-old Joe Cope reached the last eight at the Cadet and Junior Nationals in Huddersfield after a battling performance that caught the eye of England table tennis chiefs.
The Manor Academy student was selected by Table Tennis England to be in its England Youth Squad which has just 15 members last October.
The top ranked 32 boys in the Under 15 category were pitted against each other at the championships for the national title.
Proud mum Louise Cope said: “Joe was ranked number 20 and should not have got out of the group stages, however he battled all the way to the last eight in the quarter finals.
“He knocked out number 15 and number six in pulsating games.”
Sadly, Joe was knocked out of the event by a boy ranked number four in England and who is due to move on from the Under 15s soon.
But Louise added: “His performance attitude and battling was noticed by key people within Table Tennis England and himself.
“He played his heart out and deserved his position in the last eight.”
As a member of Table Tennis England’s development squad he attends regular sessions at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, in Shropshire, and gets support from the national coaching staff.
Joe, of Owton Manor, Hartlepool, first picked up a table tennis bat while on holiday with his family when he was just 18 months old.
He was inspired to play table tennis after watching his older brother Jack who is also a talented player.