One of Worksop’s finest sporting exports is set for a Commonwealth debut.
Table tennis star Sam Walker has been called up to the England squad for the Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi, India from 5th to 10th May.
The selection the latest in a string of remarkable achievements for the teenager, who turns 18 during his trip to India.
A former Redlands pupil, Walker plays his club table tennis for TTC Selingenstadt in Germany, but it’s his performances for his country and in national competitions that have propelled him into the England team.
In the Senior Nationals earlier this year he defeated a number of highly ranked players, took the Under 21s title and reached the Men’s Singles semi-finals.
And three weeks ago he won the Maltese Open’s Junior Boys Singles and Boys Team event titles, dropping just one game in the entire tournament.
Those victories have moved him up to third in the World Junior Circuit standings ahead of the Commonwealth Championships – a chance for Walker to stake a claim on an England jersey for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Dad Steve told the Guardian: “I think it’s a bit of a breakout season for him, it’s fantastic.”
“India is the furthest afield he’s been, and he’ll celebrate his 18th birthday out there.”
“He’s playing very well.”
In one of the more unusual developments of his fledgling career, Walker featured on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM show this month, taking on Owen Coyle at table tennis under the pretence of being a YTS boy.
Steve added: “Owen fancies himself as a bit of a table tennis player, they told him Sam was just a YTS boy and made them play.”
“He really enjoyed his experience down there.”