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A Q&A Session with Abisoye Jemiyo


One of our long standing club members, Abisoye (or Oye as he is known) very kindly agreed to a question and answer session about his love of the sport, experience of Dewsbury Table Tennis Centre and a few other interesting facts about him.


It has to be said that Oye is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and always has a smile on his face.



How and when did you start playing table tennis?


I started playing Table Tennis in 1996 during my rehabilitation in the gym at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield when I met up with the county (Yorkshire & Humber) Para team using the gym as their practising base.


What is it about that sport that you enjoy the most?

Table Tennis is a sport that gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction. I enjoy traveling, visiting new and old places I've been before, and I love meeting people, making new friends and connecting with old ones too... Table Tennis allows me to do all this. The arts and crafts of Para Table Tennis is so much fun for me realistically because there are some weird and wonderful shots I create and orchestrate to bambuzzle my opponent. When I pull these shots off, it is so much fun to stare at the opponent and see how baffled they are.


Who is your favourite player and why?

To be honest, my favourite player at present is Stephen Horsfield. The reason is because I just feel that his brain has been programmed with the dynamics and trajectory of bat, ball and rubber that makes him read the game so well hence he has so much wealth of knowledge of the game from his experience and successes over decades. If only I could unscrew Stephen's head and glue it onto my neck... the rest will be history in the making!


How can other wheelchair users get into table tennis and what advice would you give them?

Wheelchair and/or anyone with a disability can get involved in Table Tennis as it is the most accessible sport I know. There are various coaching sessions at Heckmondwike Table Tennis Centre during the week and weekend, and I believe the committee is working on getting a session up and running specifically for athletes with disabilities so contacting the centre via the website will be one of my recommendations as the centre is highly accessible for wheelchair with accessible Table Tennis tables for wheelchair users, a kitchen, vending machine, viewing and sitting areas and an accessible toilet.

The home base for the GB Para Table Tennis Squad is at English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where we have regular training camps for the elite and pathways squads athletes. Anyone who is interested is welcome to contact Shaun Marples who is the Pathway Manager on 07944776751 or email at shaunmarples@britishparatabletennis.com as Shaun will have contact details of various clubs in various towns and cities across the U.K. and he can also invite you to taster sessions and competitions.


What is your greatest playing achievement to date?

My greatest playing achievements to date was winning 2 bronze medals at USA Para Open Championships two years in a row (2014 & 2015) in front of my sister.


What other ambitions do you have?

My main focus and immediate goal is to work my way back into the GB squad after years of absence due to shoulder replacement surgery, then training hard with all the support and facilities that will be at my disposal to then start competing internationally in a few years time again which will be doors of opportunities opening for my career.


Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people may not know.

I indulge in a hot stone massage to relax all my muscles days before a tournament.

And finally, what is your desert island disc? What’s the one song or piece of music that you’d have if stranded on a desert island?

Being stranded on a desert island, I will be seeking some guidance, courage and wisdom as to which direction to follow so my go-to-song and piece of inspirational motivating music will have to be 'Be Thou My Vision' by Maranatha! Music.


A massive thank you to Oye for agreeing to take part, and all the best for the future.


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