13 November 2019

Grantham College's head table tennis coach has secured a coaching role as the Great Britain men’s captain for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Gavin Evans has been drafted in on secondment from the college and will take on the role of British coach for the Olympic qualifying process and the Games themselves, should Team GB qualify.

Gavin, 26, is well known to the current squad and is highly respected, given a playing career that saw him become European youth champion (in the Cadet Boys’ Singles) in 2008.

Later the same year, he won team bronze alongside Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Darius Knight at the World Junior Championships. He previously joined Drinkhall and Knight in the squad that won Cadet Boys’ Team gold in the 2005 European Youth Championships.

A serious hip injury ended his playing career before he could really transition into the senior ranks, so he followed a new career path as a coach.

As well as being a former team-mate of Pitchford and Drinkhall, he has been a key influence on the career of Tom Jarvis, who trained with him at Grantham College prior to moving to Sweden.

Gavin, who has been at the college for over three years, recently returned from Berlin and is currently visiting Tokyo for the first 'practise run'.

He is keen to get started in his new role, commenting: “It’s an amazing opportunity. I’m happy to be asked to do the role and excited to go out into the world and see what we can do.

“I’ll be able to visit the players on an individual basis, to work on little things that can make a big difference in matches, but also to be able to bring them all together when we can for training together and building team spirit.

“The key priorities are first to perform at the Team World Cup and then to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, and then hopefully when we qualify it will be a matter of doing some really good training and, as the boys have proved, when they come together and perform on the day they can beat anyone in the world.”

Vice Principal, Steven Peacock welcomes Gavin’s new appointment: “We wish Gavin and the team every success with this endeavour, and are delighted to have a Grantham College colleague at the heart of Team GB’s Olympic plans.”

If you’d like to train at Grantham College’s world class facilities, take a look at their website or visit the college at their next open evening on Tuesday 19 November from 5-8pm.