Swale Youth Development Fund
Ross looking at supportive Mum on winning Commonwealth Gold.

Ross Wilson, Paralympian

Ross Wilson, from Minster, is a two-time Olympic Games table tennis medallist, whose first major success was winning bronze for Great Britain in the doubles competition in London in 2012 with his partner Will Bayley.

A few months later, Ross agreed to be a guest of honour at an evening to “Celebrate the Youth of Swale” at The Coniston Hotel. The event was held to showcase the talents of youngsters who had received general awards from the SYDF as well as bursary recipients and Trustees were delighted that Ross was able to attend and display his bronze medal.

He repeated his Paralympic success in Rio four years later – again with Will as his doubles partner and followed this by taking gold, representing England, in the men’s singles TT6-10 class at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April 2018.

Ross on the winners podium.

In October that year Ross Wilson claimed the men’s class 8 World title in Slovenia beating double Paralympic champion Zhao Shuai from China in the final.

And in April 2019, Ross received another honour when he was inducted into the English Institute of Sport Sheffield’s Hall of Champions.

In July 2020, having continued with his extensive training régime despite restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Ross was selected to take part in the Paralympics in Tokyo as a member of the GB team.

However, with the ongoing pandemic the 2020 games didn’t take place but in January 2021 Ross signed his accreditation papers to be in the re-scheduled Tokyo Paralympics with the first match taking place on 25 August 2021. At these games Ross once more won a Bronze medal in the GB Table Tennis team event.

Ross first played table tennis aged 7 while on a family holiday in Centre Parcs, Penrith and clearly showed an immediate talent for the game. His natural skill brought him success in non-disabled table tennis and as a junior he was ranked in the top ten in the country, winning two national doubles titles.

Ross in action.

However, as Ross got older it became clear that some physical problem was affecting his development although exhaustive medical tests failed to discover the cause. Finally, in 2011, he was diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, which affects the growing ends of the bones, after his cousin was diagnosed with the same condition by a geneticist.

Ross at the luncheon with fellow paralympian and Fund Patron Steve Brown

Ross gave the charity a huge boost when he agreed to be the guest of honour at a fundraising lunch at Hempstead House Hotel, Bapchild in November 2018. He told the gathering how grateful he had been for the financial support which the SYDF had given him in his formative years, before he had achieved his first success in non-disabled table tennis.