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BBC SPOTY

18th January 2017

 

FullSizeRenderAfter such a successful year of sport in 2016 Aaron was invited as a guest to BBC Sport personality of the year along with all over medal winners in both the Olympic and Paralympic games. It was a great evening for Aaron, as he was able to celebrate and relive the sporting year along with his fellow IMG_0077Olympians and Paralympians. It was also a great opportunity to celebrate with the British public who’s support makes it possible for the British athletes to compete and represent them. A deserved winner of SPOTY 2016 was Andy Murray after becoming world number 1, winning the Olympic games as well as Wimbledon and the world pro tour finals

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Home coming

18th January 2017

FullSizeRenderAfter the success of Rio 2016 Olympians and Paralypians came together to celebrate the success with the British public which was held in Trafalgar square. It was a great opportunity for the public to come and see all the athletes and gave the athletes an opportunity to say thanks to the public for all their support. After the event medalists were invited to Buckingham palace for a special reception to meet the royal family. Aaron said “ it’s a IMG_9951great day for us as athletes, to come here and have so many people turn out to see us is a special feeling. This day is more about the public though, without there support and people playing the lottery we are not able to even compete so we owe a massive thanks to them as their support makes it all possible. Going to the palace after was really special. It’s the second time I’ve been but it feels so strange to say you have been in Buckingham palace and spoke to the queen. Its not a normal thing to do, sport allows you to do some incredible things.

 

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James Pendleton support Aaron to Tokyo 2020!!

18th January 2017

james-pendleton-mpuJames Pendleton have announced they will be supporting Aaron towards the Tokyo 2020 games. James Pendleton, who are a local housing agency to Aarons home town of wandsworth were fundamental in supporting Aaron from London 2012 to Rio 2016 helping him take a medal at the games. Aaron said “ I feel really privileged to have the support of James Pendleton. They have supported me so much previously in the 4 years leading from London 2012 to Rio 2016 and I feel so grateful they have so much faith in me. I hope I can do them proud, its not often to find such Kind people like Lee and Lucy Pendleton who are willing to do so much to support someone else’s dreams “

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Riversdale school

18th January 2017

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On Aarons return from Rio 2016 he has wasted no time in putting the medal to good use. Aaron has been traveling around the country visiting lots of young children trying to inspire them to take up sport by speaking about his experience of Rio, showing his medal and answering questions they have. Aaron took special joy in returning to his own primary school where Aaron held an assembly and was taken around the school. Aaron said “ its amazing to see that other people can enjoy the medal and if I can play a small part in inspiring someone to take up sport or do something special that would mean a lot to me. It felt very strange returning to my primary school, everything looks so much smaller then I remember! “

 

While Aaron is on some down time on his return from Rio before they start back full time training Aaron will be heading to a lot of events to try to inspire the next generation

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Rio 2016 !!

18th January 2017

IMG_9661Aaron along with the GB team set off to their main goal of the 4-year cycle Rio 2016. After a successful build up, the team was in good spirits and glad the competition had finally arrived. Aaron began his singles campaign and just like in London 2012 Aaron was the first GB member to compete for table tennis in Rio 2016. Aaron sadly didn’t have the dream start he wanted, he ended up losing 3-1 to world number 3 BOUVAIS Thomas . As results P1010173went Aaron second opponent LEDOUX Marc Philippe beat Thomas meaning Aaron had to not only win to progress to the second stage but also win with a better ratio. Aaron came flying out of the blocks against Marc and secured a 3-1 victory over LEDOUX Marc Philippe. After points count back Aaron ended up toping the group which gave him a bye to the quarter finals. This is where Aarons singles would end as he lost out 3-0 to world number 6 CSONKA Andras who was the eventual silver medalist for Rio 2016. After Aaron said “ I’m obviously disappointed, I had a great opportunity to make a semi final here and be in contention of a singles medal. Looking to the future I can take positives in my first Paralympic games in London I didn’t win a singles match and this time around I made the quarter finals. Now is not the time to dwell we have the team event coming up and have a great opportunity if we can perform to our level.

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The team event kicked off and Aaron was joined by GB teammates Will Bayley and Ross Wilson. The GB team started off with a 2-0 victory over Belgium who was previous world champions in 2010. Aaron and Ross won the doubles 3-1 and Ross finished the job with a 3-0 victory in his singles. In the quarterfinals GB met London 2012 silver medalist Spain. The GB team lost the opening doubles 3-1 meaning it was down to Ross and Will to win their singles matches which they both did to progress the team into the semi finals. In the semi finals the GB team met Ukraine the number 1 seeds. After loosing the doubles 3-2 it was an up hill battle and the GB would not progress to the final as DIDUKH Viktor beat Will Bayley 3-0 to knock the GB team into a bronze medal play off. In the Bronze medal play off GB would face china the current world champions. The match began with an amazing 3-2 victory in the doubles putting the GB team in touching distances. Ross Wilson was up next and was unable to finish the job when playing against a very in form ZHAO Shuai who managed to win the `Gold in the singles. It came down to Aaron Vs SUN Churen, the winner would secure the medal for their team P1010266and the loser would take the painful position of 4th place. In a real up and down match with the pressure clearly at the highest point Aaron managed to hold his nerve and come out victorious 12-10 in the 5th set to win the match and a famous victory over the power houses of china. After the match Aaron said “ This is a dream come true, this is 4 years of hard work for this one moment and it was worth every second. We were written off before the match, to win against china is never easy but we knew as a team we had a chance. This whole team event every member had to come out at some stage to carry the team over the line, so it feels amazing to have done this with the boys and think we can be really proud as a team of what we have just achieved”

 

IMG_9617The GB team came away with 3 medals for table tennis 2 singles gold medals and 1 Bronze team medal. As they move on towards Tokyo 2020 with such a young team they will look to improve their level and results. For everyone who has followed Aaron over the 4-year period and supported him he would like to thank you for all your help and hopes he can do even better in the future.

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What Break?

4th July 2016

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Aaron has just come back to the national center where he will be finishing off his final 8 weeks of preparation before the team fly’s out to Rio to compete in the games. On the 17th of June Aaron along with the rest of the GB team headed down to Adidas HQ for there kitting out. Aaron said, “ the excitement is defiantly kicking in now, we have tried the kit on and you can feel it getting closer. Wearing what we will be wearing in the games today has felt special and just cant wait for it to start”.

From Kit fitting Aaron returned home for a 2-week break to recharge and get ready for the final push. While Aaron was home it was important to maintain his fitness. He was grateful enough for Daley Thompson, one of the greatest GB athletes ever to allow him to use his Gym ( Daley Fitness) in Putney which is local to where Aaron is from. Aaron said “ why it is a break its vital to maintain my fitness and strength, with the games so close if I was just to lounge around for 2 weeks it would be very detrimental to my final preparations. I would like to say a huge thanks to Daley and their team, they were very kind to let me use their gym while I was home and it was a huge benefit”. Now Aaron is back in Sheffield and ready to go, keep up to date with him in his final prep leading into the games.

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Slovenia & Slovakia Opens

17th May 2016

IMG_8826-1On the 29th of April the GB team left for a hectic few weeks of competitions in what would be some of the final preparation competitions before the main event at the end of the year Rio 2016. The competition began on the 5th of May in Slovenia, Lasko with the team being out there earlier for a training camp in there final preparations for the competitions.

Aarons singles began with a 3-1 win over Russian player SAUNIN Aleksei. Next came the much harder test of number 6 in the world CSONKA Andras from Hungary. Aaron ended up loosing this in very close-set scores 3-1. He said after the game “ Czonka is a top player and will be someone I’m competing against at Rio, its always a tight match and I feel at the big stages I didn’t get the luck but I tried a few new things and felt I played really well, maybe on a different day a few points could have gone my way and this result could be different. This left Aaron going into his last match needing to win to through to the K.O stages. Aaron came up against Van Amerongen Max of the Netherlands which he went onto win 3-1 and progressed to the last 16. Here Aaron met current parlympic Gold team medalist and World team silver medalist SKRZYNECKI Marcin in which Aaron won 3-1. Sadly moving into the quarterfinals this is where Aarons singles finished, with a 3-1 loss to world number 7 Andersson Emil. Aaron said after the game “ I had a really slow start in the match I was down 2-0 and then started to find my rhythm, it’s a shame because once I got going I felt I was in control and had every chance to win. Against opponents of his level you cant afford to start so slow as it was an up hill battle from there. Over all my singles has improved I’ve put in some good performances and will keep pushing to improve.

 

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Onto the team event and Aaron was joined by his London 2012 teammates Ross Wilson and William Bayley who he took a Bronze medal at the last parlympic games. There competition started with wins over Italy, Russia and 5th seeds for the competition Hungary. This moved the GB team into the quarterfinals where they met Belgium. The British pair of Aaron and Ross lost the doubles 3-1. This left them needing to win both remaining singles to win the match. Ross went on to win 3-2 against LOICQ Mathieu with Aaron finishing the match off with a 3-0 victory against world number 12 LEDOUX Marc. This moved the GB team into the semi final where they met China. The GB team of Aaron and Ross lost the doubles 3-2 and Ross went onto lose 3-1 to world number 4 ZHAO Shuai meaning the GB team finished with a Bronze medal. After the competition Aaron said, “ There is lots of positives from this competition. To lose 11-9 in the 5th to china shows all the doubles practice we are doing is paying off and we are so close to one of the medal contenders in Rio that its only a positive “

 

Slovakia open

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The GB team moved onto their next competition with a lengthy bus drive from Slovenian to Slovakia to prepare for the next open. Here Aarons singles began with 3 victories over French opponent BERTHIER Clement Thailand opponent NGOENKRACHANG Lertsak and world number 15 LOICQ Mathieu. This meant Aaron topped his group and moved him into the last 16 where he met world number 9 CSEJTEY Richard. Aaron went onto lose this Match 3-1 and after said “ I’m really disappointed with this result, I’ve been working a lot of my receive of service and in this match I just made to many mistakes. The game score was really tight the first 3 sets but I was finding it hard to receive his service well, I’m hoping we draw Slovakia in the team event so I get another crack at him to put it right”

This is exactly what happened, Aaron teamed up with GB team mate Billy Shilton and in the group stage they beat Australia and Poland with there final match against Slovakia to top the group. Billy and Aaron won the doubles 3-0 leaving Aaron with a chance to finish the tie with a win against CSEJTEY Richard. Aaron went on to win the game 3-1 and after said “ I’m really happy to win this game, I felt I did myself justice today and after speaking to my coaches with what I did wrong in the singles against him, I think I changed this and in return the result turned in my favor”. This moved the GB team into the quarterfinals where just like Slovenia they met Belgium again. The GB pair of Billy and Aaron won the doubles 3-0. Aaron had a chance to finish the tie with another victory against LOICQ Mathieu like in the singles. Sadly it was Mathieu day and he came through to win with Billy going on to lose to LEDOUX Marc and send Belgium into the semi final. On reflection to the competitions Aaron said, “ today I just felt I had nothing left, I tried to get myself going and dig deep but was just struggling. To be fair Loicq played a very good match and would love the chance to play him in Rio to prove to myself it was just a slip up. It’s been a very long few weeks with ups and downs. I no where I am now and I’m really looking forward to the next few months of training to be as ready as possible by Rio. I’m more motivated then ever now to be the best I can by Rio and I no I will be “

Keep up to date with Aaron in his final few months of preparation for the games

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Rio here we come!!

13th March 2016

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On Tuesday the 8th March BPA (British Paralympic association) made an announcement for the table tennis team which would be representing Great Britain in the 2016 Paralympic games. Aaron was among the 12 selected athletes meaning he has reached his target of being at the2016 games.

images-2Aaron said “ I’m over the moon to be able to announce I will be at the summer Paralympic games, being my second games to represent GB in is a dream come true”

Aaron has a number of people to thank for reaching this goal. His coaches, support staff based in sheffield, club in London York Gardens, UK sport, Lottery, Team mates, JFSports Managment, Girlfriend, Family, friends and the list goes on and on. The last 4 years for Aaron have been a roller coaster and without these people by his side the dream may never have been a reality

 

A special mention must go to

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Aarons equipment sponsor Teessport & Butterfly who have provided Aaron with the tools to compete at the highest level in each competition

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Footlabs who make specialist alterations to Aarons trainers adding comfort and support to help improve his performance

James Pendleton

And finally a huge thank you goes to James Pendleton who have supported Aaron since London 2012 all the way to Rio 2016. Aaron said “ I had got in contact with James Pendleton just after London 2012 , I spoke with them and they have shown huge support to believe in my ability and dream to reach Rio 2016. This dream would really not be a reality without there support and help. I am very proud to represent them and can’t thank them enough for everything”

 

This is now time to push on even harder and Aaron will not be resting to enjoy the moment, keep following as Aaron looks to push on with the remaining months before the games to be the best he can come game day in Rio

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The year begins -Italian open 2016

23rd February 2016

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On the 14th of February Aaron left for the first international of the season in Lignano, Italy. This was the start of the 2016 season which was a big year for all sports as it is a Paralympic year.

Aaron’s competition started off with the singles. Aaron came through the group stage winning against Samuel De Chiara from Italy 3-0, Max Van Amerongen 3-2 and finally a 3-1 win against world number 8 from Sweden Linus Karlsson. This placed Aaron in the quarterfinals where sadly Aaron lost 3-2 to Ivan Mai from Ukraine.

Aaron said after “ I am happy with my performance but at the same time disappointed. In the group I played really well, and to beat the world number 8 I feel I played a really good game and felt my level had pushed on since China at the end of 2015. In the quarterfinal I was leading 2-0 and had match points in the 3rd so I’m disappointed to not pull through and cap off a good start in singles. Even in the games where I played well there was some points I could do better which I see as a positive as I have a long time still to get these right for the main goal which is Rio 2016”

 

In team event Aaron teamed up with his partner Ross Wilson. The pair started with a 2-0 win over Italy. Their next match was up against Sweden where they lost 2-0 loosing the doubles 3-2 which was pivotal. There final game was against Ukraine 2nd team, which was still a very strong pairing in which Aaron and Ross, came through 2-0 winning the doubles 3-0.

Aaron said “ Its been a solid start from the both of us, we have worked on our doubles in the pre season a little and we can see here its making it better, there still things that need to be better but just losing out to Sweden 3-2 who are one of the best teams in the world and winning very comfortably against the other teams shows we are in a good place.

The GB pair went on to the semi final where they lost to number 1 seeds Ukraine 1st team 2-1 and took home Bronze, Aaron said “ Ukraine will be the number 1 seeds going into Rio most likely so this is the team we need to beat to reach our dream. Our doubles is not far off where we need to be to take a team of this quality out so we need to knuckle down and work on this and be as ready as possible by Rio” “ for my first international I feel there has been positives and negatives, I am not in the perfect place yet but the aim is to be in the perfect place by Rio, I am in a better place then I was last year at this same international and hopefully I have 2 months practice now to correct the small things and come back stronger in the Slovenian open”

 

Keep up with Aaron as the training and matches increase in the push to the RIO 2016 games

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Slovenia National training centre

7th February 2016

IMG_8316On Sunday the 24th of January along with some members of the GB team, Aaron left for Otocecs, Slovenia. Here the team trained at the Slovenia able body national Centre for one week as they stepped up there preparation for the coming season which is fast approaching. Under the watchful eye of Slovenian head coach Joze Urh along with GB coach Matt Kenny the team were put through there paces, Aaron said “ We have had a great opportunity to come out here and practice. The level of Slovenia is very strong they have one of the best juniors teams in world table tennis .The standard of every player at the Centre is very strong. Its really pushed us here this week and made us go up a level. It will be great if can come back here more as the level of practice is among some of the highest I have had”.

(Aaron training with Slovenian Female number 1  Manca Fajmut )

 

On returning to England Aaron played in a local competition The Nottingham Grand Prix “ I was feeling sharper after having the weeks practice in Slovenia. I performed to a good level winning some matches against good opponents. As I’m using these competitions for match practice to hopefully be my best by the international season I am happy with my level so far. Some things I worked on in Slovenia were really good in my matches and the competition also showed me a couple of areas to focus on in the last few weeks before the season starts which is what these competitions are all about for me here”

 

Aaron is now close to kicking off his season where he will begin in the Italian open from the 16th of feb, keep a close eye to see how Aaron gets on in the coming season