Hazell and Cheer table bid of glory for England at World Schools Championships

The Whitgift School line-up representing England at the World Schools Championships (from left) George Hazell, James Smith, Jason Kwok, Reiss Vydelingum SUS-180804-222942002
The Whitgift School line-up representing England at the World Schools Championships (from left) George Hazell, James Smith, Jason Kwok, Reiss Vydelingum SUS-180804-222942002

Local table tennis duo George Hazell and Kate Cheer are to represent England at the ISF World Schools Championships in Malta this week.

Horsham-based Hazell, 18, will star for his country in the boys’ nominated school team competition, lining up for Whitgift School from Croydon - where he is studying for his A Levels.

Kate Cheer 'Picture by Mike Rhodes SUS-170621-135807002

Kate Cheer 'Picture by Mike Rhodes SUS-170621-135807002

In the national selected team event, the girls’ four-player line-up includes Crawley’s Cheer, who is representing The College of Richard Collyer.

Hazell and his team-mates have been drawn to face Greece, Israel and India, while Cheer is up against powerhouses China, Chinese Taipei, Slovakia, India, Turkey and hosts Malta.

Hazell, who won team and individual bronze medals for England last year in the Six Nations tournament in Jersey, qualified with his school after they retained their national title for the second year in March.

He said: “I will not get this chance to play in the world schools again so I am really looking forward to playing. It’s been hard balancing study time with my table tennis training but things like this make it all worthwhile.”

Cheer, 17, said: “I am very excited and pleased to be travelling to my second ISF World Schools Championships.

“I have been training harder and more frequently than usual ahead of the World Schools, in hope to maximise my chances of doing well.”

Crawley & Horsham District League chairman Maureen Hazell said: “I can say from a league perspective that we are delighted to have two of our junior players selected to play at an international level.

“We are very proud of Kate and George - our local league attracts players from across the South East and we have players as young as 11 and into their 70s so it’s a great sport for all ages.”