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Norfolk ace named in England squad for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

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Norfolk’s Mollie Patterson hailed “the biggest selection of my life” after she was named in the England squad for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The 19-year-old table tennis star from Brancaster Staithe will appear at her first major senior international event after being named in the women’s line-up on Tuesday alongside Tin-Tin Ho, Maria Tsaptsinos and fellow debutant Charlotte Bardsley.

Patterson said: “It’s the biggest selection I’ve ever had in my life. To be selected for the women’s team rather than a junior event, it’s my first step into that world.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait for the chance to show what I can do and to use it as a stepping-stone to bigger things.”

Mollie Patterson in action. Picture: Alan Man (57194174)
Mollie Patterson in action. Picture: Alan Man (57194174)

It is a goal Patterson has been working towards for some years and she added: “In 2016, I wrote some goals down, both short-term and long-term, and one of those was to go to a Commonwealth Games and to work my way up to play for my country. It was nice to look back and find I could tick that off the list.”

Patterson, who is preparing to start a sport and exercise degree at the University of Nottingham in September, says the fact it is a home games will help her to settle any nerves.

“I’m really grateful my first Games is in a home environment so my friends and family can come and experience my first Games with me,” she said. “It will really help with any nerves having that support bubble around me.

“The School Games is probably the closest I’ve been to a major multi-sport event. I’m not 100 per cent sure what to expect, but I’ll talk to my team-mates and (coach) Kelly Sibley and use their experience to help me prepare for it.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together in the training hall but it will be nice to get to know people better and create some friendships and to bring that into our team spirit.

“I’ve not had too much experience in the women’s team and I’m looking forward to getting to know them a lot better. From what I’ve noticed, they all get on very well.”

The full England squad for the table tennis and para table tennis competitions is: Sue Bailey, Charlotte Bardsley, Daniel Bullen, Paul Drinkhall, Tin-Tin Ho, Jack Hunter-Spivey, Tom Jarvis, Mollie Patterson, Fliss Pickard, Liam Pitchford, Maria Tsaptsinos, Sam Walker, Ross Wilson.

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