Bournemouth athlete prepares for World Ping Pong Masters this weekend

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andrew Pate

With the World Ping Pong Masters starting on Saturday (23 January), a player from Bournemouth will be swapping his father-in-law's office for the Ricoh arena.  

During lockdown, Matt Ware has been keeping up his skills by transforming his father-in-law's office into a ping pong area.

He says: "My father-in-law has built a brand new office and it's perfect room. It's 10 by 5 metres, it's perfect conditions for table tennis. If I didn't have that and I was just training in my local club that wouldn't be allowed to happen because all the clubs have closed down because of lockdown."

Matt's first tournament was when he was eleven years old, having fallen in love with the game 2 years earlier.

He says: "It was at a holiday camp - Butlins. I picked up a bat and thought, I really like this. And carried on from there"

Matt Ware (left) has been preparing for the World Ping Pong Masters. Credit: ITV News Meridian

And from that first game against his dad at Bognor Regis he hasn't looked back.

Matt has been preparing for this weekend's tournament using the Ping Pong bats, rather than the table tennis versions which are padded.  

"You can't  produce that much power and spin, so you have to do it the hard way, using your legs and the body. Rather than relying on, in table tennis you use the rubber to put on more spin. It's like going back to the old school." 

On Saturday he swaps the office for the World Ping Pong Masters, ready to show years of hard work - do pay off.