BRIDGWATER’S Bertie Kelly has been named as one of the inaugural members of the new England Table Tennis 9-13 squad.

The 12-year-old undertook a day of physical, technical and mental assessment to secure his place in the new squad, which features the brightest table tennis talent from across the country.

It is the first stage on the England talent pathway, leading up to the senior England squad for events like the Olympics. 

The squad will meet eight times a year at Nottingham University and receive top level coaching and preparation for international competition, overseen by England head coach Alan Cooke, England youth coach Matt Stanforth and former Youth Olympic champion, Gavin Evans.

This season Bertie remains unbeaten nationally in his age group and has won gold at open tournaments around the country. 

He plays for the Bristol-based Table Tennis Daily team in the Junior British League, the premiership of UK Under-18 table tennis, and he won the Plate event at the Somerset County Senior Championships in October.

Bertie is supported by Somerset sports charity TS5C, and earlier this year was highly commended in the TS5C Young Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Alan Gloak, chairman of TS5C, said: “Bertie is a determined and dedicated athlete with a great future ahead of him. 

“I have no doubt we have a future Olympian in the making.”

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