Hackney student hopes China trip will help develop his game

Hackney table tennis player David Adesanya

Hackney table tennis player David Adesanya - Credit: Archant

Hackney’s David Adesanya will hope to come out on top against the world’s finest players during a placement in China aimed at broadening his studies.

Adesanya, who was a nominee for the Hackney Sports Personality of the Year award in 2013, will squeeze in a visit to China’s national table tennis centre to take on some of the most technically gifted players on the planet.

The 20-year-old Manchester Metropolitan University architecture student has arrived in the Far East as part of the Study China programme encouraging students to look at Chinese language and culture – and is keen to make the most of his stay.

Adesanya, who went to Mossbourne Community Academy and Raine’s Foundation School, will meet and train with teams in Beijing, although he admits to being a little bit anxious about the quality of the competition.

“China has a long, strong tradition of great table tennis and I have heard that the depth of field and quality of the game is intense,” he said, referring to China’s dominance of both the Olympic Games and World Championship.

“I took up table tennis from my father and badminton from my mother. At an early age, I was warned about being a jack of all trades but a master of none, so I chose to focus on table tennis.

“I love the spontaneity of the sport,’ he continued. ‘You never know what is going to happen next. I’m very involved in extra-curricular activities, from learning Mandarin, trying out start-up businesses to photography projects. I’m someone who can’t keep still!

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“Table tennis is an excellent sport, because you can get into it very easily and after some practice, everyone can have a game. It’s easy to become addicted and get more skilled and competitive as you play and it’s great to see the athleticism of the game at the top end of the sport.”

Adesanya is part of MMU’s table tennis squad in the competitive British Universities and College Sports League and also holds a position as sports activator on the university’s Active Campus programme, which encourages students and staff to turn up and try sports activities on a casual basis.

University spokesman Rowena Harding said: “We’re very proud to have him at Manchester Metropolitan University, as he is such an amazing all rounder and has brought a lot of his community activism and engagement from Hackney into his university life too.”