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Table tennis star seeks top-level coaching cash
A rising table tennis star, who battled her way through to the semi-final of a national championship earlier this month, is looking for a helping hand to send her for top-level coaching in China.
Ilkley Grammar School pupil Kate Nixon (pictured), 12, has risen through the ranks dramatically since she took up the sport several years ago. She is currently York-shire’s top player and English number four for her age group.
Kate, who devotes 12 to 14 hours a week to training, is said to be confident of improving her game still further after competing in the national championships at the University of Wolverhampton on June 9.
She got to the semi-finals of the under-13s and under-14s girls’ doubles. Kate won two thrilling five-set matches against number five seed Stephanie Cross and number two seed Denise Payet before losing a titanic battle to Zana Hall which went all the way.
Her father, Chris, said: “The great thing is, straight after the event she said ‘don’t worry, I’ll be back next year’.
“It’s a great attitude to have.”
Now she hopes to head to China in August for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to train with some of the world’s finest table tennis stars and coaches.
The 18-day trip, along with other young Yorkshire players, will include six to eight hours of training each day and will cost more than £2,000.
To raise money, Kate will be holding a 12-hour table tennis marathon at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club on June 30, from 8am to 8pm.
Ilkley Round Table has already provided some funding, and members will be helping out with her latest fundraising event.
Ilkley residents are invited to come to challenge her to a game or two during the marathon in exchange for a donation. Two players who have played at international level, including Kate’s coach, Sally Shutt, are expected to attend the event.
Mr Nixon is also on the lookout for local businesses interested in sponsoring her. Contact him on 07973 285114.