Table tennis and squash in the North-East have had a major boost with the introduction of specialist academies at Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV).
Young stars will now be given the opportunity to train in ASV’s state-of-the-art facilities with top high quality coaching.
The ASV Table Tennis Academy will be launched tomorrow (Saturday December 11) as the sports village hosts the sport’s biggest tournament to be played in the North-East. Now in its third year, the ASV Table Tennis Open attracts entries from across the region and this year more than 100 adult and junior competitors are expected to take part.
Former Scottish Champion David Low, who is currently ranked top in the over 40s Scottish category, will compete in the tournament and has sponsored the new Table Tennis Academy through his company, Low’s Traditional Fish & Chips.
On Saturday, ASV will also hold a Christmas Squash Extravaganza to mark the launch of the Squash Academy, which will include a doubles fun tournament as well as squash and racketball singles tournaments and a celebration of Scotland’s success at the Commonwealth games where the men’s team came fourth in the doubles competition.
Donald Pirie, Head of Sport at the University of Aberdeen and one of the table tennis coaches, said: “Aberdeen Sports Village is a world-class facility which is easily accessible to young people from across the North-East.
“The launch of the Table Tennis Academy is one of the most exciting things to happen for local table-tennis in a number of years and we are grateful for the sponsorship which will allow us to supply the best equipment to the children involved, and has helped us to persuade former National coaches Max Singer and Charlie Matthew back to the table-tennis scene in Aberdeen.
“All of this will offer unrivalled table-tennis opportunities for local children and really put Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland back on the table-tennis map in the coming years.”
Gerry Towler, ASV Squash Academy coach and lead coach within the Junior excellence programme at Scottish Squash, said: “All of Scotland’s senior players enjoyed quarter-final placings in the various Doubles competition at the Commonwealth Games. It was particularly pleasing to see two of Grampian’s stars make these teams with Stonehaven’s Lyall Paterson at the age of 21 making the men’s second team and Lisa Aitken from Aberdeen Squash and Raquets Club making the Ladies and Mixed Doubles teams at the age of just 20.
“Such success inspires the next generation of stars behind them. We have some great local talent, including 12 year old Richard Hollins, who has this year been capped for Scotland and is hoping to become a national champion at the Scottish Junior National Championships which take place in February next year.
“The launch of a dedicated squash academy at Aberdeen Sports Village will help to nurture our squash stars of the future and hopefully enable them to compete at the highest level.”
The Table Tennis and Squash Academies are the first in a series of planned initiatives to support young sportsmen and women with the introduction of our exciting recreational children’s clubs in the New Year it creates the perfect feeder system for young talented athletes.
Full details of the table tennis tournament and squash extravaganza can be found on Aberdeen Sports Village’s website