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Mark Waller

Mark Waller.

Mark is a 21-year-old para-badminton player from Elmton who this year competed in the para-World Championships and has made great progress in his first year in the sport, having previously been an athlete. Despite his cerebral palsy, he is determined to push his body to the limits and hopes to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Mark says: "I train 9.5 hours a week (on a good week), which consts of three hours on a Monday, five hours on a Wednesday and one hour on a Friday.

"On a Monday, I have been going to the Performance Centre session and now have been invited to a new Adults Performance Centre session straight after mine.

"On a Wednesday, I have been invited to a session for potential England players ran over 5 hours (split into two sessions). Because of the high standard, I feel like I'm on the back foot all time, but we learn best from people who are better than us.

"On a Friday,I have a one-to-one session with my coach and Head Coach for the Para-Badminton England Squad. In this session we work on things we can't specifically in the week.

"My sporting ambition over the next few years is to get onto the Great Britain Squad to go to the Paralympics, as I've only been playing a short period of time.

"I've met certain criteria, but need to meet the rest to be able to go. To add to this, I am competing with another player in my class to be able to go, so my motivation and determination to beat him is very high."