An update from Wheelchair Table Tennis player, Simon Heaps, following his tournament in Spain.
Simon’s wheelchair table tennis quest continues following his appearance at the Spanish Para Open when he returned with some very encouraging results. Exciting news for Simon is that he has earned himself his first official World Ranking and will know what that is after the update on November 1st. This is a really important step for Simon in his quest to compete for GB at the highest level.
Just a brief update on my recent exploits.
I have finally made my long awaited (delayed due to Covid) German Bundesliga debut for Alstersport Hamburg. The first round of matches ( we will have 4 throughout the season ) was on Sat 9th October. The Club won all of its 3 matches and I finished the day the only undefeated player with 6/6 wins to my name. Not bad for the oldest player in the hall. Image attached with my teammate.
Also, finally, the International Para Tournaments have resumed with the Spanish Para Open last week in Platja D’Ora near Barcelona. I had a mixed event which was not surprising as it was only my 2nd International Tournament and the standard is very high. Two major highlights for me. The first being that I played World No 4 and ex Olympic Para Champion Tommy Urhaug from Norway and lost in 3 close games 11/7, 12/10,11/9. This was even more significant because nobody else in the entire tournament, singles and team event, got more than 18 points against him !! This has proved to me that I can compete at this level and with more experience and hard training the results will come. Image attached.
Well they did. I beat Tommy’s teammate in the Team event, World Ranked No 41 and this win means that I will get my first official World Ranking when updated on November 1st. Norway went on to win the Team event Gold Medal. Great Britain Team photo attached, of which I was the only self funded athlete on the team.
I now have more Bundesliga matches in Cologne on 6th November and follow that up 2 days later as I travel to Paris for the French Para Open, representing Great Britain on a self funding basis.
I am then looking forward to competing for Great Britain, again self funded, in the Chile Para Open in Santiago, The Costa Rica Para Open in San Jose and the Egypt Para Open in Ismailia before xmas.
These events will be very expensive and will take my fundraising account to the very lowest level and in need of financial support if I am to continue my International career in 2022. I am in desperate need of a Corporate Sponsor that will believe in a 66 yr old Para Athlete.
My motto remains Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it.
Kind Regards to all
Links etc. (links will open in new tabs)
- Meridian article: For those of you who missed this in the first post relating to Simon’s quest for the top, here is the link to a story that appeared on Meridian on the 13th October: . It’s great to see that Simon is already attracting media attention! And this is only the beginning…
- Previous posts on the DBF website
- GoFundMe Page
- Wheelchair Table Tennis Marathon
If anyone out there would be able to help Simon in his search for a Corporate Sponsor, please let us know – Simon would love to hear from you. Competing at the top level of any sport is very expensive, with costs including equipment, travel, accommodation and personal necessities. Simon is a self-funding athlete (the only one in the team pictured above) who raises money through his own efforts. Raising sufficient funds to ensure that he’s covered these costs for each competition must add considerable stress to what is already a very competitive situation. You may remember one of his fund-raising ventures when he organised a 24-hour table tennis marathon. This is covered in a previous post on the DBF website and can be reached by clicking on the link above.
We have been proud to support Simon’s wheelchair table tennis quest through our Bader Grant Scheme, and can vouch for his absolute integrity, commitment and determination. From a personal point of view, I’d love to see someone striking a blow for the over 60s in para sport and believe that Simon is just the man to do it!
We are also very proud of the very smart DBF branded bags that accompany Simon on his travels as he competes!