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Sidcot School maintenance man Phil Payne wins Somerset Table Tennis Championships

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

Somerset table tennis champion Phil Payne, who works at Sidcot School, with one of his trophies

Somerset table tennis champion Phil Payne, who works at Sidcot School, with one of his trophies

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Sidcot School maintenance man Phil Payne beat off the challenge of more than 100 rivals to take three titles at the County Table Tennis Championships in Taunton.

The 45-year-old from Bridgwater, who has been playing the sport for more than 30 years, won the men's singles, veteran singles and men's doubles titles.

Payne, who is responsible for painting and decorating at the Quaker school, represented England in his childhood and made it to the quarter-finals of the Olympic qualifiers in 1996.

Despite his hat-trick, he said that he was saddened that more young people are not enjoying the sport that he loves.

"It says something when a 45-year-old man wins the men's singles – I wish that more young people would get involved and see how exciting it is to play," said Payne.

"Table tennis is an extremely competitive sport. It's a bit like playing chess but at a hundred miles an hour. It's definitely different to decorating!"

Students at Sidcot are able to see the new champion in action and pick up a few tips every Thursday lunchtime at his table tennis club.

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