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Broadstairs: MP Sir Roger Gale takes on St George's pupil Hugo Ursell

By Katie Davis

It was bats at the ready for MP Sir Roger Gale as he took on school pupil Hugo Ursell, Table Tennis England’s youngest Young Ambassador for the sport.

Dubbed the ‘ping-pong persuader’, Hugo has already taken on Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch and the 15-year-old is still busy promoting the sport.

Sir Roger was only too happy play the teenager but decided he’d have a friendly match, rather than a competitive one last Monday.

Sir Roger Gale with Hugo Ursell

The Thanet North MP said he enjoyed his morning playing against the young star and even said he might attempt to give it a go again in the future.

Hugo, from St George’s school in Broadstairs, said: “I enjoyed rallying with him and think he’s got some potential.

“I’m happy to coach him whenever he gets a chance.”

Sir Roger Gale took on Hugo at St George's school in Broadstairs

The fact he found it fun does prove my point: that it is easy to start and fun to play. I would say to everyone – give ping pong a go.”

Sir Roger has said before the game that it had been many years since he had last played the sport.

He said: "I'd like to congratulate Hugo Ursell on becoming one of the youngest National Ambassadors for Table Tennis in England: that is a tremendous achievement and one in which we should all take pride. Thanet this year, the Olympics in 2020 perhaps!”

Hugo is known as the ping pong persuader

The big game took place at Hugo’s school.

Mr Wood, head of PE at St George’s was quick to praise Hugo's achievements.

He said: “It was great to see Hugo and Roger playing here at St George’s.

Hugo is England's youngest ambassador for Table Tennis England

"We already know how committed Hugo.

"He is a credit to our school in the way he promotes table tennis and an active lifestyle, something we believe passionately in.

"We want to thank Sir Roger for giving up his time to come in to our school and support the work Hugo is doing.We remain really proud of Hugo.”

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