Game, set and match for Barnsley students | Wates

Students at Outwood Academy, Carlton have been served a table tennis masterclass from Paralympic gold medalist, Will Bayley MBE, as part of a campaign to inspire young people by Wates Living Space.

Taking time out of the classroom, students were given the chance to hear about Wills journey as a professional player and get some sporting tips from the world number one Paralympic table tennis player.

Will was also joined by Billy Shilton, world number one for under 23s who joined Will in taking a special PE class for BTEC and GCSE students studying sport, which was followed by table tennis games in the canteen for students of all ages.

During the exclusive class, Will and Billy talked about technique and gave demonstrations of long and short-range play, followed by a question and answers session that covered health, training and what it was like to meet the Queen when Will received his MBE.

The event forms part of Wates Living Spaces growing presence in Barnsley and Rotherham and comes as the business completes its first year of sponsorship with Will – a partnership based on shared values of performance enhancement and continuous improvement.

Will, who resides in Rotherham when training, commented:

Being able to inspire young people is such a rewarding part of my career and it was a great experience to see the genuine enthusiasm of all the students at Outwood Academy, Carlton. I am very grateful to Wates for their sponsorship and support in the run up to Tokyo in 2020 and for giving me the opportunity to join them in inspiring the next generation.

David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, added:

We are always seeking new ways to engage with young people, be it in our industry or further afield and we are very proud to have teamed up with Will and Billy to inspire students in Barnsley. We are over a year into our sponsorship as Will prepares for Tokyo in 2020 and it has fast become a partnership through which we are working together to achieve great things.”

Davina Mellor, Teacher of PE, also commented:

It was fantastic for our students to meet such inspirational players. Not only do I think it inspired students to play the game but their stories highlighted the strength and resilience required to succeed. Our students will remember that day for many years.

Will Bayley MBE was born with a rare congenital disorder that required a number of operations in childhood. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of seven, Will began playing table during his recovery, going on to become a three-time Paralympian.

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