Euan Walker

Date: 14/01/2014

Euan Walker has won a record 12 Scottish Men's Singles titles in Table Tennis. In 2002, he competed as part of Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and is now Table Tennis Team Manager for Glasgow 2014.

As Scottish Men's Table Tennis champion twelve times over, Euan Walker is a record-breaking athlete.

But for the elite player who hails from East Kilbride, no sporting memory will ever be greater than when he represented Scotland at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

He said: "2002 was the first time that Table Tennis was included in the Commonwealth Games so to play for my country in what was also my first ever multi-sport event was just phenomenal.

"There was a great atmosphere throughout the whole event and I certainly felt very privileged to be there. My overriding memory is walking out at the opening ceremony to be greeted by a huge crowd which included the Prime Minister and members of the Royal Family. It really was a once in a lifetime experience."

Euan first started playing when his parents bought a Table Tennis table as a family birthday present. The early years were spent honing his skills against his brothers and at the local table tennis club in East Kilbride.

It was then on winning a competition aged 12 that Euan first gained national recognition as a player, with coach at the time Bill Cummings pushing him to move onto the Glasgow scene to fully develop his game is something which Euan still sees as an impressive and selfless act from his first trainer."

He continued: "I spent my formative training years on the Glasgow circuit thanks to my first coach recognising that this would be the best place for me to continue my development as a player. He could easily have tried to persuade me to stay in East Kilbride but he knew it was time to move on to a higher level to get the training and coaching I needed.

"As part of the Bellahouston Table Tennis Club, under the guidance of legendary Glasgow coach Andy Fleming, I played in numerous competitions and was lucky enough to learn from the best as the club actually had nine out of the top ten Scottish players training there at the time. It was definitely the right place for me to be."

From 1990, Euan played Table Tennis in the Scottish senior team and in 1992 he was crowned Scottish Men's Singles champion for what would be the first of twelve titles.

Whilst an incredible achievement, Euan was always envious of other sports being in the Commonwealth Games and so grabbed the opportunity to participate with both hands when it was included as an optional sport in Manchester 2002.

He is now looking forward to the event coming to Scotland and will be at the forefront in his role as table tennis team manager for Team Scotland.

He said: "Nothing will quite replace the buzz of competing but it will still be great to be a big part of the Games. If I can impart my knowledge or experience in any way to help the athletes I will.

"The atmosphere in Manchester was incredible and I imagine that will only be amplified when Glasgow comes around. I've been lucky enough to experience the excitement of a Games on British soil myself and the athletes have so much to look forward to.

"Just as important though is how the public enjoy and profit from it too. It's fantastic to see that there are already tangible benefits like investment in sport and facilities but I hope that this goes with a shift in mindset amongst the wider population as well.

"Sport really does provide a feel-good factor and if we can use that to bring sport to the forefront of people's minds and then galvanise them to try new activities such as table tennis then that will be a fantastic legacy for the Games to leave behind."