Question time: Will Bayley chats to Dom Howson

Will Bayley
Will Bayley
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Will Bayley, aged 25, is a member of the Sheffield-based Great Britain Para Table Tennis team. He won silver and bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympics. Will is currently preparing to defend his European Championship title in Italy in September, and recently returned to number one in the class seven world rankings.

Q: What have you been doing today?

A: Training all day so far! Three hours done and another three to go.

Q: Who is your inspiration and why?

A: My mum is my inspiration because she’s got the same disability as me (arthrogryposis) and she’s always been very positive about everything.

Q: Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

A: My dad liked boxing so I was always a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was a true star.

Q: What’s your favourite other sport?

A: I like tennis and football. I would give a slight edge to tennis because I just love that one-on-one battle on court.

Q: Who is the most famous person in your phone?

A: Err, I think you’ve got me there! No-one I’m afraid.

Q: When was the last time you cried?

A: Only about a month ago. I’m trying to get a house at the moment and it all fell through so I cried then. I was distraught!

Q: Who or what are you most proud of?

A: My team event medal (bronze) in London 2012 because of the young guys that came through to win it. I was so proud of them.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A: To just always work as hard as you possibly can.

Q: When did you know you were good at what you do?

A: Quite young I think, probably when I was about nine years old. I started playing at around seven so a couple of years after that.

Q: What’s the one item you take with you wherever you go?

A: My table tennis bat! Even if I’m on holiday I take my bat just in case there’s a little tournament going on!

Q: What is the most nervous you have ever been?

A: The Paralympic final in front of over 5,000 people.

Q: Do you ever doubt yourself?

A: Yes, a lot, as I think most sports people do at times. It’s about bluffing your way through with an opponent sometimes.

Q: What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

A: I think it’s a good thing as long as you don’t say stupid stuff. It’s a great way to generate support. For example, we don’t get any sponsorship so we can try to interest sponsors through social media.

Q: How do you relax away from sport?

A: I like watching films and eating a nice meal.

Q: Where was your last holiday - and would you go again?

A: It was in Turkey.... and never again! It was a boy’s holiday and it was awful!

Q: Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite? if not who provides that favourite meal?

A: I do cook a little bit, but it’s just the basics. You can’t go wrong with chicken and pasta!

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: Hmm, this is quite embarrassing, but I’m actually reading a book on ‘How To Get Abs’ at the minute! It’s not very effective!

Q: If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

A: I think I’d be some sort of fitness instructor, trying to motivate people.

Or maybe acting; I went to drama school whenat the age of 16.

Q: What is your favourite television programme?

A: The Office or Bottom. I love sitcoms like that.

Q: Tell our readers in your own words why you think we are interested enough to interview you?

A: I think because people are interested in Paralympic sport and it needs to get more publicity.

Football is always on the back page of every newspaper, but we train six hours a day to be the best and we’re world-class at what we do.