IT’S Olympic year and the countdown has begun to the opening ceremony – and for one Caistor man it will mean much more.
Former Caistor Grammar School teacher Peter Taylor, who lives in Hersey Road, is chairman of the UK Paralympics British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities.
Table tennis fixtures will take place in London’s Excel Centre, not far from Olympic Park, and having recently received his official accreditation, Peter will be at the heart of the action.
“I will be down there for most of the events,” said Peter, “which for the Paralympic athletes opens on August 29.”
Regular trips to Sheffield have been commonplace this year for the retired maths teacher as the plans have been formulated.
His role is to be in overall charge of the performance training squad, though much of the team preparation is done by team coach Gorazd Vecko.
“The squad has recently been in Italy training and came back with ten medals in competitions there,” said Peter.
“There will be a number of events worldwide for them to participate in during the build-up to London 2012 and it is important that the squad does well, as success builds up ranking points that will determine positions in the draw for the Olympics.”
However, a lot of Peter’s time at the moment is spent looking beyond London 2012 and towards 2016, putting together bids for funding to enable Paralympic athletes to compete four years from now.
“The finances of any sport for both able-bodied and Paralympic athletes are crucial in the present climate.
And although Peter has retired from table tennis table as far as playing is concerned, he still takes an interest in the sport at the local level, having played in the Grimsby League for many years, and coaches players in Market Rasen.
But even that will be put on the back burner in August, when his thoughts will be fully focused on the biggest combined Olympic event in this country’s history.