I am 64 currently and if successful I will the oldest English Table Tennis Player ever to compete in the Commonwealth Games where I will be 66 ( nearly 67 ) when the Games are held in Birmingham, England. ( If wheelchair classes are included )
I suffered a below the knee amputation of my right leg on May 29th 2019 which was a result of 51 years of being a Type 1 Diabetic. This has been a life changing time for myself and my wife.
I previously played Table Tennis at International level when I was young and represented England at Junior and Senior Level with the highlight being crowned European Cadet Champion in 1970.
In 1973 when my International days were over I travelled with the Harlem Globetrotters performing exhibitions across the USA. Upon my return I continued to play County Table Tennis for Cheshire and Berkshire until I retired in the early 1980's to start a family.
I returned to the sport that I love in 2016 when I had reached the ripe old age of 60 and played in my age group category in various tournaments around the Country with the highlight being selected to play for England in the 6 Nations Tournament in Guernsey where I won 2 Gold Medals and also being crowned National o/60 Doubles Champions in May 2018 before I retired again because of persistent injuries.
On 19th April 2019 I was admitted to Hospital where I had a toe amputated that then developed into the necessity to lose my right leg. From my Hospital bed after my amputation I joined GB Para Table Tennis who are the National Governing Body for Disabled Table Tennis in Great Britain. I left Hospital on 4th June, 5 days after my operation, and was playing wheelchair Table Tennis less than 2 weeks later with the determination that I could play Table Tennis again at the highest level.
I played my first wheelchair Tournament run by GB Para Table Tennis in September 2019 and came away with 2 x Silver Medals and a 3rd place. In the process I beat the World No 56 ( October 2019 Ranking ) twice during the weekend.
Following this Tournament I was invited to train with the GB Para Table Tennis Squad at their base in Sheffield for 2 days in early October and this has then transpired to representing GB Para Table Tennis at the Costa Rica Para Open in December. This event alone will cost me approx £2300 due to entry, travel and accommodation and kit costs. I actually beat the World Ranked No 13 ( in his Class ) to gain my first World Ranking points in Class 5.
Unfortunately only Performance members of GB Para Squad get assistance and training facilities paid for. I will have to be self funded until I reach a standard to be included in the Performance Squad which will not be re-evaluated until the Paris 2024 Olympics Squad is formulated.
The cost of playing at this level is very high and the expenditure is as follows:
Travel both National and International
Accomodatio both National and International
Coaching ( paid )
Practise partners ( paid )
Tournament entry fees
Fitness Instructor/ Gym membership
I will now be representing GB in the IWAS World Games ( International Wheelchair Amputees Sports Federation ) in Thailand from 20th to 28th February 2020. There will be 12 Sports and over 500 athletes from around the World but because of costs I will be the only GB athlete, in any Sport, representing GB. My costs for this event alone is £1810 for entry fee, travel and full board accomodation. This event has to be self funded as I try to become the best Wheelchair Amputee Table Tennis player in the World.
From my side to achieve my dream to play in the 2022 Commonwealth Para Games ( see Classification details earlier ) and hopefully the 2024 Olympic Para Games I guarantee that their will be lots of hard work and determination, support from family and friends but this alone cannot be achieved without financial assistance.
Please support me. You can donate from as litte as £5
For commercial ventures there are lots of Media potential both locally and nationally as I believe I have a great story to tell that would create a lot of interest both in the written press and National TV but also on Social Media platforms. Without any question I will support any potential Sponsors and this can be discussed in detail.
My personal details are: Simon Heaps DOB: 17/08/55
e mail: [email redacted]
tel: 07710 354640
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