Commonwealth Legacy

How Does She Do That????

By Ryan Jenkins, Director of Coaching – Table Tennis Wales


I’ve actually lost count of the times people ask me ‘did you see that young girl in Australia’?

This is of course when we get onto the topic of table tennis and my job‘– ‘Did I see her?’ I reply, ‘yes of course I did, I coach her!’

For a matter of fact, so did everyone else it seems as Anna Hursey, an 11 year old Cardiff High student, provided some of the best attention given to any athlete in previous games. Of course she is young but what a good account to give. The leadership that teammates Charlotte Carey and Chloe Thomas offered helped enormously. The coaching knowledge of Stephen Jenkins was also a vital ingredient.

Starting at the tender age of 5 was no doubt a critical factor to the success. The hours and hours of graft and the coaching expertise (from different cultures) of many individuals helping to shape her game and physical strength. Moving house firstly from Swansea to Cardiff and then from Cardiff to China to gain further support was a good path to go down and then back to Wales to start high school and train back in the National system. This has been a brief summary of how Anna got to the Gold Coast but as you may well imagine, there is so much more connected with the everyday grind.

When a player appears at a particular Major Games, the amount of work associated with that appearance is extreme, and Anna is no exception. From the morning runs to the hours of serving, multiball, fitness work and conditioning and to the analysis and meetings, it all helps along the way.

But she’s only human and there is another youngster out there in Wales waiting to be the next Table Tennis sensation. Between us we can unearth him or her, or both him and her to become another Commonwealth or Olympic player. The coaching chain that evolves from school to club and then onto a regional centre, onto the National squad takes a number of different coaches to support it. We all have a part to play. If you think you can be the next table tennis superstar why don’t you click this link and find your nearest club and roll up your sleeves and get hitting that little white sphere over the net!


Video of Anna


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