Olympian visits to assist in table tennis coaching

Sam Walker, who previously trained at the college, returned to coach at summer camp

Players flew in from all over the globe to attend an intense table tennis camp held at Grantham College, with coaching delivered by Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes.

Nations such as South Africa, Australia and Germany were represented at the Cooke & Deaton Summer School, which is held at the college every summer.

The course was led by six-time English table tennis champion, Alan Cooke, and Nicola Deaton, who was England’s no. 1 for five years.

Alan said of the camp: “It is to enthuse and inspire the younger people, but for the older players it is to play and socialise.”

Former Grantham College Table Tennis Academy players Sam Walker and David McBeath were amongst the coaching staff.

The pair spoke very highly of their time training in Grantham as they developed into professional competitors.

Sam, who competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, said of his decision to train in Grantham: “For me, it was the best opportunity at the time. It was a pathway to the national team.

“This is the only option for serious table tennis players.”

David, who has represented England at the Commonwealth Games, added: “Here you’re guaranteed 18 to 20 hours of training a week, combining education and table tennis. 

“It is possible to go on and represent your national team.”

For more information on the Cooke & Deaton Summer school, visit their website at cookeanddeaton.com.