Local stars hope to make most of home advantage

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A host of local sporting stars will compete for glory on home turf when Sheffield hosts a prestigious event this weekend.

Paul Drinkhall, Darius Knight and Liam Pitchford are expected to take to the courts at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre when the venue welcomes the English National Table Tennis Association (ETTA) Championships, from tomorrow to Sunday.

The trio all train at the English Institute of Sport.

They will battle it out against more than 260 competitors from across the country, including Daniel Reed, Joanna Parker, Kelly Sibley, Hannah Hicks and Andrew Baggaley, who also train in Sheffield.

The ETTA event is being held at Ponds Forge for the second consecutive year.

The event is the most sought after and prestigious one in the English domestic calendar, with categories including men’s and women’s singles and doubles, under 21s and veterans.

On the same weekend, Ponds Forge will also host one of the key national events in the disability swimming calendar – the DSE (Disabled Sports Events) National Junior Championships.

Richard Apps, general manager at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, said: “To be hosting two prestigious national competitions across one weekend is fantastic for the city of Sheffield and Ponds Forge.

“Hosting events of this calibre further highlights our reputation as a world class sporting venue and showcases our facilities to the sporting world.

“It will also be great to see some of our best local sports stars in action, and we wish them all the best of luck!”

For more information about the ETTA Championships visit www.etta.co.uk. Tickets will be available to purchase on the day at Ponds Forge.