Commonwealth gold winner Jack Hunter-Spivey hopes speaking about mental health will help others

Jack joined the presenters in the studio to talk about the Commonwealth Games, mental health and his comedy gigs.

A para-athlete who clinched gold at the Commonwealth Games says raising awareness of mental health is worth more to him than any medal he could win.

Jack Hunter-Spivey took the Table Tennis top spot in the men's singles classes three to five at the Birmingham 2022 games on Sunday, 7 August.

The 27-year-old, from Liverpool, said he was in disbelief when he beat Nigeria's Nasiru Sule 3-1 and said it feels like he is "carrying somebody else's medal around".

Jack with his gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA images

"It's so surreal", he told ITV Granda Reports presenters Gamal Fahbulleh and Lucy Meacock. "It's starting to sink in slowly, but it's an incredible feeling."

With a history of mental health problems, Jack's road to Commonwealth gold has not been easy.

He speaks openly about his previous struggles while training for other competitions and how, during his worst period, he attempted to take his own life.

The Paralympic bronze medalist says he now uses his sport as a "vehicle to help other people", which he believes is more important than any medal he will ever win.

Reminiscing on his journey, Jack said: "If I can just inspire the next generation of athletes, if I can tell people that it is okay to talk about mental health, it’s okay to go through issues.

"I’m here to say I do have mental health issues, but I’m also one of the best athletes in the world.

"Anything is possible and if I can get out there and show that - that means more to me than any medals I could ever win."

Jack, who lives with cerebral palsy, first went public about his mental health a few years ago, describing it was a weight off his shoulders because he was no longer "alone".

Team England 's Jack Hunter-Spivey in action against Nigeria's Nasiru Sule. Credit: PA images

The para-athlete is now looking ahead to the Paris Olympics in 2024, when he hopes to win more medals to take home to his friends and family in Merseyside.

His biggest inspiration, he said, is his mum who would "sacrifice pints of milk and loaves of bread" during his childhood to make sure he attended table tennis training.

Jack explains: "Everybody who has supported me - this medal is for them more than it is for me because they’ve been on this journey just as much as I have."

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