Ten year old Aadil Anand has a burning passion for table tennis, competing in tournaments and practising whenever he can. Anand’s love for the sport has led him to become the twelfth best table tennis player for his age group in the UK.
Anand first got interested in table tennis at the age of eight when we was living in India. He was watching his friends play for fun when he got intrigued and decided to pick up the paddle and join in. Now he practices six to seven days a week in Bermondsey in South London with a professional coach. Whenever Anand has a chance, he tries to practice, have fun and improve his skills. “When I play table tennis I always feel happy and in the zone,” said Anand.
Anand travels and competes in competitions all over the globe. Austria, France, Hungary and India are just a the few places he has traveled for his table tennis. He has been to certain European minis where people contending are from all over Europe. He has also attended lots of nationals in India and top tournaments in the UK.
A normal competition day will last a whole day. Anand will often wake up at 6 am and not get home until quite late in the night. He will first play in group stations then keep progressing until he gets to the semis or quarter finals. At the semis he pushes and tries his hardest to win and leave the tournament with the gold.
One competition he took place in was in Burgess Hill at the Triangle Leisure Centre on June 8. There were five age groups and Anand took place in two of those five. In the first semi-final for the under 13 age group, Anand won 3-0 and then defeated another opponent in the final, 3-0. He won that tournament with a gold medal for the under 13 age group. He then continued playing in the under 15 age group that had 37 contenders. In the semis, Anand played very well and won three straight sets. The final was extremely close with Anand winning the first set and then the two alternating. Anand won 11-9 in the fifth set and got the gold medal for the under 15s.
From starting in India and moving to London two years ago, Anand has been playing table tennis for about two and a half years. He said, “ I hope that I will do this for a while and get better each time I play.” In the long run Anand will continue to improve and work on his great skills at playing table tennis.