Teenage wheelchair table tennis player Megan Shackleton will make her international debut after being selected in the Great Britain team for the Belgian Open later this month.
The Todmorden High School student, who won a bronze medal at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield in the summer and is being tipped as one to watch at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, is training hard for the event.
“I’m really excited because I have always wanted to represent Great Britain since I was eight-years-old,” she said. “I was really happy to get the call.
“I’ve started training once a week with the Great Britain squad in Sheffield. And I’ve been to a training camp in Slovenia for 10 days, training with all the players who are going to Belgium.”
The 14-year-old said it would be a chance to test herself against some of the best players in the world - including some who competed in the London Paralympics.
“I’m going for the experience really,” she said. “I’m up against some of the top players. I’ll do my best.”
Balancing training and school work can be difficult, but she said her family, friends and teachers were supportive.
And she has also attracted the attention of some of the country’s top coaches and players, including her hero Will Bayley. “They always check up on me,” she said. “I would like to be a big star like Will one day.”