Published: 14:00, 06 April 2020
| Updated: 14:24, 06 April 2020
It’s World Table Tennis Day but Kent Paralympian Ross Wilson has more important things on his mind.
The 24-year-old is world number three in his class and well positioned to be taking part in Tokyo 2021 but he’s putting his sport on the backburner for now.
Last month he became class 7-10 National Champion but now, at home in Minster, he is putting others before himself.
He said: “The National Championships seem a long time ago now. I was very happy to win the title but there are more important things going on at the moment.
“You almost have to completely forget about yourself and just try and help other people. Our neighbours on one side are quite elderly so I’m trying to help them by getting their shopping and there are other people who need help and support at the moment so I am focusing all my attention on that and not so much on table tennis because I can’t train.
“All I can do is keep myself in the best shape possible and I’m staying on top of that but also trying to help out in the community.”
Today would normally be a day to celebrate the sport, with events organised and supported by the International Table Tennis Federation, including social gatherings, casual table tennis activities and charity events taking place across the globe.
But today (Monday) is just another normal day in lockdown for the player who won bronze at Rio 2016 and World and Commonwealth champion in 2018.
He said: “I would normally be playing table tennis so this is a bit weird really. My day (on Monday) consists of a run, doing a few chores around the house, probably going to pick up my grandparents food shopping for them and other things like that. I’m trying to stay active and not get too bored at the moment.
“Our team strength and conditioning coach Adela has sent us through some things to work on at home and I have managed to order a yoga mat and skipping rope online.
“All my sports equipment is in Sheffield (where he is usually based) so it was good to get hold of some things and now I can practice my mobility work and my range of movement through certain exercises.”
The coronavirus pandemic led to a delay of the Olympics and Paralympic Games and that has given Wilson more time to reach peak level.
He said: “It is good that we know the Paralympic Games have been postponed until 2021 but from a selfish point of view there was disappointment as well because personally I was in good form and I’d put everything into performing at the Games this year.
“Every athlete sacrifices a lot to prepare for the Games and that is what I’d done this year. I’d really been pushing myself and that was reflected in my performance at the National Championships.
“I was focused on peaking in Tokyo and I wasn’t anywhere near the level that I wanted to be so it has given me more time to prepare and I’m sure I can turn that into a positive and find a way to improve before the Paralympics next year.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)