In April, ten regions around England held championships to select their top players to compete at the National Inter-Regional Table Tennis Championships to be held at Arena Sports in Kettering. TS5C athlete Bertie Kelly comfortably secured the number on slot for the SW Boys U13 team, not dropping a single set throughout the entire event.
On the weekend of June 3rd and 4th all ten regions converged on Arena Sports Kettering to compete for the title of top region in the country.
After 12 hours of almost constant play on day one Bertie and his team number two from Devon secured their place in the final to be held the following morning against the other finalist team, the North West. It was a tough match. After four rounds the score stood at two all which meant Bertie had to step up and win the final match if the SW were going to secure the title. Bertie was more than up for the challenge and the moment he scored the winning point produced one of the most iconic photos of the whole tournament. Bertie’s SW team mate leaping up for joy whilst the NW players slumped in despair.
Following the team event final on day two, Bertie competed in the individual competition and although he was an under 12 competing in a national under 13 competition he still managed to come away with the silver medal only narrowly missing out on the gold by the smallest margin possible.
The weekend following, June 11th, saw Bertie head down to West Sussex to compete at the Jarvis Sports Open Tournament. In order to get as much high level match practice in the run up to the nationals Bertie didn’t enter his own age group but the two age groups above his. Even then he was able to come away with a gold and a bronze. In just two weekends so far in June he has secured two golds, one silver and one bronze all in age groups above his own.
Next weekend Bertie will be competing in the U12 and U13 National Championships, once again being held at Arena Sports, Kettering.