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.

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).