Newtownabbey table tennis prospect Zak Wilson has been selected as a member of the Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy – a group of five promising sports stars from Northern Ireland.
The current Irish number one at under-15 level, Zak’s recent successes include winning the U14 and U17 categories at the National Classifications, as well as the Ballymena and Ballymoney Opens.
The Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy was launched in late 2013, building on Dale Farm’s long standing relationship with the Mary Peters Trust. It supports five local athletes with substantial bursaries whilst supporting a professional development programme of mentoring and community outreach.
“The support of Dale Farm, and also the Mary Peters Trust, has been really helpful,” Zak said. “It allows me to compete at both national and international level, and the funding I have received has allowed me to travel to places such as Hungary, Slovakia, Belgium and the Czech Republic.”
Zak, along with the four other selected athletes, recently attended a Masterclass in sports psychology, nutrition, competing on an international stage and media engagement at Ulster Rugby’s Ravenhill Stadium.
Zak added: “It’s my dream to some day play professionally in France or Germany and the Masterclass provided me with a lot of helpful advice and tips for getting ahead in my game. I particularly liked the nutrition section. I also really enjoyed the psychology tutorial from Dr. Mark Elliot on how to overcome personal demons and improve my mental game.”