Table Tennis: Golden girl Shackleton plays key role in North East’s schools victory

Alex Bland, Adam Gittings, Shaun Alvey and Megan Shackleton.

Alex Bland, Adam Gittings, Shaun Alvey and Megan Shackleton.

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Todmorden wheelchair athlete Megan Shackleton returned from the Sainsbury’s School Games with gold and silver medals.

The 16-year-old Todmorden High School student helped the England North East squad to lift the team title and was runner-up in the individual contest during three intense days of competition in Manchester.

The North East line-up of Shackleton, Alex Bland (standing disability) and Adam Gittings (learning disability) went through the competition unbeaten to lift the title ahead of England South East and defending champions Wales.

Shackleton said: “It’s really good to have won the event, particularly for me and Alex who have competed here before and it’s nice to see improvements have been made.

“It’s made a big difference that we all know each other really well and know each other’s games so we have a good support network for each other.”

Non-playing captain and coach Shaun Alvey added: “I can’t remember any team going through unbeaten in the past.

“I’ve worked with these guys for five years and we’ve got a bond. I think that’s a big thing and it’s a proud achievement to see them come through unbeaten.”

In the individual wheelchair contest, Shackleton reached the final, where she lost to Daniel Bullen of England Midlands 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 12-10).