Back then I hated using a wheelchair and being different from the other kids. I was holding on to the table, clinging to it, and had to sit down between points.”He started attending a proper table tennis club, but there were difficulties; sometimes money was so tight his mother found the £2.50 admission fee hard to scrape together.
“There have been times when she’s sacrificed a loaf of bread because she was the only one who believed in me, that I could do it.”By 11 he was trying out for the GB development team, and got into the elite performance squad in 2011.
If he’s encountered doubters in the past, they surely must now have been silenced. But they had table tennis, and I enjoyed playing it.”Enjoyed is perhaps an understatement – he became pretty obsessed, it seems.“I was hitting the ball up and down at midnight, watching You Tube videos, I was doing my mum’s head in talking about it all the time.Statistically one in four struggle with mental health problems in some way.”He’s seen the effects on others; his mother Renee has bipolar disorder and was sectioned when Jack was younger. “I’m in a position to help others.”His efforts are focused on the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, but he’s a harsh critic of his own abilities.In Rio he missed out on the knockout stages, losing to Brazilian Claudiomiro Segatto who won a vital match 11-8.“I was going for a medal.He missed out on the London games – “That was really tough, it was my dream” – but experienced the atmosphere through the Inspiration Programme, aimed at those who ‘didn’t quite make it’.“It set an absolute fire in my belly, watching my teammates play in London, seeing the crowds and realising what it’s like.”Dark clouds were gathering, though.Aged 18, Jack developed severe depression, and later made the first of several attempts on his life.“I’ve always felt to different to everyone else and in a bit of a bubble – a bit self-conscious about stuff.Writing in a discussion group, he posed the question: “Honest opinion guys... And what are your first thoughts of a disabled person when you see them?”The debate was picked up by national newspapers and he was inundated with messages.“It was ridiculous.Luckily my roommate heard me, came in and took the tablets.I’ve been through some very dark times.”Jack takes medication, has undergone therapy and feels ‘so much better’.Signing up for your mobile friendly free account is super fast and easy. Our member base of men and women are looking for someone who shares the same goals and interests, so whether you’re a club player, amateur player, a pro on the ATP World Tour, or a fan who loves singles and doubles and would never miss a day of the U. Open, Australian Open, Davis Cup, or Wimbledon, then start putting some brisk topspin on your new love life.In just a few clicks, you’ll be browsing member profiles, and connecting with other Tennis fans and players. Join today and start communicating with someone special!