Omar Khassal at the recent Cadet & Junior Nationals (picture by Trevor Parsons)

Omar’s delighted to play schools ambassador role

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than four years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Omar Khassal has been given a golden chance to inspire the next generation of table tennis players around the world.

The London Academy student was named one of only two worldwide table tennis ambassadors by the International School Sports Federation (ISF).

It follows an interview process at the World Schools Championships at Eilat in Israel last month, where Omar was part of a London Academy squad representing England schools.

Omar, 16, and Lucia Cordero Veliz, from Guatemala, were selected to act as role models and a voice for young people in schools table tennis around the world.

“I did an interview about how I found the World Schools Championship and I mentioned that it was amazing and there’s no tournament like it for meeting people from different countries and cultures, mixing and having fun,” said Omar.

“They asked me if I wanted to be an ISF ambassador and what I thought that was. I said I thought it was someone who spreads the word about table tennis in schools around the world.

“Then they offered it to me and I accepted.”

The post lasts two years and involves such tasks as filming video messages and responding to Q&A articles on the ISF website, to inspire the next generation of schools athletes.

Omar, who is currently studying for A-Levels in maths, economics, geography and PE, is also set to attend the next World Schools Championships in Malta in 2018 as an ambassador.

“It’s amazing, really,” he said. “It’s good I feel like I can give back to the community. Table tennis has made me who I am today and it feels good to give back and help make other people’s dreams come true – it’s quite big!”

Omar also played at the 2014 championships and he added: “Israel was amazing. I went to France in 2014 and I thought ‘how could they top that?’ but Israel was 10 times better. The food, the hotel, the venue, it was all amazing.”

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