England Ladies number 2 Kelly has a wealth of experience at just 26. She is looking ahead to her 3rd Commonwealth Games this July. We were lucky enough to be able to get her 5 Questions in as she trains hard for a busy month ahead.
1) The draw has been made and you face Jessy Zhou, Jurate Brazaityte and Denise Payet. Have you ever faced any of them before?
I have never played any of the girls that are in my group for this tournament. I only know of Denise Payet. So they will be interesting matches. I will also make sure I take some time to watch them practice on the morning of the tournament so I can see what style they play and I can asses their strengths and weaknesses.
2) This is a very strong competition for an English Open, are there any stand out players or will it come down to form on the day?
There are a few strong players and I believe there are also some dark horses for everyone to watch out for. It honestly comes down with how well you play on the day.
3) How do you find the preparation for an individual competition compared to a team event?
Personally I don’t see there to be a difference between training for an singles or team event, as your individual performance is as vital in either.
4) What can be done in the sport to encourage more girls to take up the sport from a early age?
I think getting girls into sport at an early age is difficult no matter what the sport. Table Tennis probably harder as it’s not as main stream as other sports such as Football. I know that in some parts of the country they have developed Girls only coaching sessions and I think that this is a great idea as it allows the younger girls to take part and to get more involved in the sessions rather than being overwhelmed by the boys.
5) Finally BT Sport are covering the latter stages, is this something that players will be thinking about when they are on court?
I think its great that BT Sport are getting involved and giving Table Tennis the publicity it needs. The level of players that will reach the final stages will not be distracted by the idea of cameras as they all play at a professional level and know that their focus will always have to remain on the table and nothing going on around them.
Many thanks for your thoughts Kelly and best of luck with a busy July!