Trio’s journey becomes big screen adventure

Author:
Rebecca Hughes

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

A documentary offering an intimate insight into the journey of three table tennis players with Down’s Syndrome is set to premiere next month.

Believe That follows the lives of Harry Fairchild, Chris O’Flinn and Andrew Tonkin as they prepare to represent England at the European Down’s Syndrome Championships.

Led by Brighton Table Tennis Club’s head coach, Pedro Santos, the documentary explores the highs and lows they face as they head into the competition as the lowest ranked team.

Producer and director, Caleb Yule, said: “I never thought there was much of a film there, until I stumbled across their training sessions in the summer of last year.

“Up until this point any training I had seen had appeared somewhat lax and what I had seen in any competition, to an extent, reflected that.

“When I came across Pedro’s coaching I knew straight away there was a story to tell.

“He was intensely drilling the players and I think that his immense dedication was a very interesting focal point.”

The 30 minute documentary follows the team over a three month period – from their rigorous training regime through to competition itself, providing an uplifting and educational portrait of one of the most under represented demographics, with the aim of challenging our everyday perceptions of people with Down’s Syndrome.

Alongside providing a deep insight into the focal trio, Yule hopes the documentary encourages others.

“I have shown the film to people who have said that they have never been so engaged in watching sport before, let alone table tennis, so if it made people pick up a bat then the film has achieved something,” he said.

“I think above everything else though, I would love the film to be seen by parents of young people with Down’s Syndrome and for them to be inspired by it.

“The film is a real underdog story on a far greater level than just the tournament that is being trained for and I think that even if the sporting achievements are put to one side, there is still so much to be taken away from it.”

The film’s premiere at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton, sold out, and a second date has been added due to popular demand.

You can watch the film on Monday, July 2 at 6.30pm, at the same venue.

Tickets cost £5.50 for children and £7.50 for adults. To purchase tickets, click here.

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