Farrel’s Paralympic dream under threat

Pictured at the EIS is Table Tennis Player Farrel Anthony .
Pictured at the EIS is Table Tennis Player Farrel Anthony .

FARREL Anthony is anything but a quitter.

But the odds are stacked against the Paralympic table tennis hopeful qualifying for the London 2012 games.

The three-time national champion has to compete in the Korean Open and Argentina Open over the coming weeks if he is to have any chance of breaking into the Great Britain Paralympics squad next year. Only the 16 best players will make the cut and Farrel needs more ranking points to be included in the GB squad.

Based in Batemoor, Sheffield, Farrel is searching for funds to pay for the travel to take part in the two international tournaments.

He has to raise more than £2,000 by tomorrow to keep his Paralympic dream alive.

The self-funded athlete, who turns 50 in March, has already funded £8,500 to pay for flights, accommodation and food for events this year.

“I am not going to give up until it is totally impossible for me to go,” he told The Telegraph. “I will give it my best shot.

“It is my dream to try and compete for a medal in 2012.”

Time is running out for Farrel, who trains with GB at the at the English Institute of Sport three times a week, to secure the funds required to compete on home soil.

He narrowly missed out on qualification for Beijing four years ago and is desperate not to miss out on representing his country again. Farrel wowed the public during three exhibitions at Ponds Forge this week and offered the spectators a chance to take him on.

“I am a very proud person and I’m having to beg for money and I didn’t want to do that,” said Farrel, who recently scooped a silver medal at the Taiwan Open in the men’s singles class seven.

“If I don’t go to Korea or Argentina, I can’t qualify. It is as simple as that.

“I need to pay and book my flights by Friday as the longer I leave it, the more expensive the flights will be.

“I have got friends all over the place trying to raise funds for me and I’m very grateful to them for their support.

“It would be disappointing not to compete in London but I would not be totally devastated because I know I would have tried everything to get there. It is not like I have sat on my bum; I have tried to make things happen.”

If anyone can help Anthony achieve his dream then contact him on 07796833926.