Children’s Mental Health Week 1- 7 February 2021

Lockdown is a difficult time for everyone while for
youngsters it’s the challenge of home schooling, not seeing friends and not
being able to participate in their favourite sports.

For 15-year-old Harri Docherty it’s been particularly tough
over the last couple of months. His
Dad is on operation in the Gulf with the Royal Navy while in December his Nan passed
away after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The teenager has always
had an incredibly close bond with his Grandparents as they regularly took him
to his table tennis training sessions.

Harri’s
rise within the game has been impressive and he is now a member of the Welsh
squad as a bronze player. Table Tennis is everything to him and that is why his
mother Shelli reached out to the Table Tennis Wales family during this time. It
prompted Matt Porter (TTW Coach) to ask Harri to take the lead on some weekly
virtual training sessions:

Matt
said: ‘I knew Harri was struggling after losing his Nan so I wanted to give him
a focus and some added responsibility and he’s really stepped up to the mark
with his leadership skills.’

Shelli
added: ‘Matt has been an absolute tower of strength for Harri during this time.
He’s supported and championed Harri’s ideas and just been there for him when
he’s needed a chat. I can see such a difference in Harri when he focuses on
table tennis, he lights up, becomes full of life and is just Harri again!’

However,
the final word has to go to Harri: ‘It’s been a tough couple of months but I’ve
really enjoyed being part of the online sessions and I hope I can show others
just how great table tennis is and I can’t wait to start playing again!’

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and Harri has put
together a video to showcase his love of table tennis and encourage fellow
youngsters to get involved.