Commonwealth Games: TASS Class of 2022
Later this month the 2022 Commonwealth Games get underway in Birmingham. TASS supported athlete Mollie Patterson is one of England’s top table tennis prospects here’s what she told us.
It means a lot to be competing at a home games.
This is my first Commonwealths and the fact that my friends and family are able to watch and support me makes it extra special. I can’t wait to share an incredible experience with them. I’m excited to experience everything that a multi-sport event has to offer but at the same time I’m not sure what to expect! This is my first time competing for England at senior level and I’ve never been involved in such a high-level event.
The Commonwealth Games has been my main focus for months.
I’d been gearing up for the qualification event since January: I trained hard and competed as often as I could to ensure I was in top form and in a position to take my chance. The build-up to the games consists of lots of hard work on and off the table and it’s important for me to create a strong bond with my team-mates. My aim is to make the most of every day I have left before I enter the athletes’ village so that when it comes to the competition itself I’m in the very best shape mentally and physically.
TASS has helped me to maximise my potential.
During my first year at the University of Nottingham I’ve been able to understand what it takes to be a dual career athlete. I’ve had access to lifestyle support, nutrition, psychology and physiotherapy throughout the academic year. I’ve been selected to represent England in my first senior games in the women’s team, singles and doubles events and I’ve been supported by TASS every step of the way.
Education has always been important to me.
That’s why I feel the dual career approach is right for me, right now. Juggling sport with academic work presents a unique challenge but I have always proved that I can do both and that’s what I intend to do moving forward. With the right support I feel confident that I can get better at my sport and make the most of university life.
The global pandemic was tough to negotiate.
It impacted everyone in so many different ways. From a personal perspective I was just grateful to stay healthy and be in a position to return to table tennis in September 2021. At that point I made the most of my opportunity to produce some of the best results — and victories — of my career.
The hard work never stops.
But I will continue to train and prepare for my second year at university. There are only a few weeks between the end of the Commonwealth Games and the start of the new table tennis season in September so I have to be ready.
Photo credit: Team England