TABLE tennis ace Alex Bland will compete in the School Games National Finals, which get under way next week.
Eighteen-year-old Alex, a student at the Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and a member of the Rotherham Scorpions club, will compete for the England North East squad.
He already has an impressive record, having won the Yorkshire Cup and also the trophy for best junior at the Scottish Open two years ago.
Around 1,600 athletes will compete across 12 sports at the School Games at Loughborough from August 31-September 3, seven of which include disability disciplines. The four-day event is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
Alex will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain's biggest sporting stars who have competed at the event before going on to senior international success. 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competed at the School Games.
"One of my biggest challenges has been to deal with my disability in sport and adapt to the challenges presented but watching the Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships has been really inspiring for me," said Alex.