Wednesday 30 November 2011
Barclays Premier League Club QPR and table tennis star Darius Knight have launched the Fred Perry Urban Cup finals as it returns to London's Business Design Centre.
Each of the 20 Barclays Premier League Clubs will be represented in the initiative led by Fred Perry and in partnership with the Premier League 4 Sport programme, the English Table Tennis Association and Sport England's Sportsmatch.
QPR midfielder Jamie Mackie took on GB table tennis star and Fred Perry ambassador Knight at Loftus Road to celebrate the upcoming finals, accompanied by the four youngsters who will represent QPR in Saturday's tournament: Benammi Coker-Adams, Andy Darko, Cheryl Wamunyima and Balaat Coker-Adams.
"Initiatives like these are ensuring that the next generation of stars are being uncovered"
- Darius Knight
Premier League Clubs around the country have joined forces with community clubs to inspire the next generation of table tennis hopefuls. This year's competition has seen over 100,000 participants aged 11-14 try their luck at emulating the success of Knight.
After making their way through several regional tournaments, the four representatives from each Premier League Club have earned the right to wear their team's colours this weekend at the finale of the competition.
Richard Martin, Director of Marketing at Fred Perry, said: "Fred Perry is extremely proud to again be backing the Urban Cup and inspiring talented young table tennis players from urban areas across the country.
"Fred Perry himself was a table tennis champion and we are really excited to see the popularity of the sport continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. This year's tournament has been our most successful yet."
Knight, GB table tennis star and Olympic hopeful, will be on hand on Urban Cup finals day to encourage the remaining youngsters in the competition and watch out for future talent while he is there.
"The Fred Perry Urban Cup is something that I fully support and believe in after table tennis saved me from going down the wrong path as a kid in a rough neighbourhood in south London," said Knight.
"This is a really exciting time for table tennis in the UK and initiatives like these are ensuring that the next generation of stars are being uncovered.
"I am looking foward to seeing my potential future GB team-mates at the Urban Cup finals and wish them all the best."