Believe That follows the journey of Team Santos, three players from Brighton Table Tennis Club, as they prepare to represent their country at the European Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) Championships.
Their coach, Pedro Santos, leads them through a rigorous training regime, challenging our everyday perceptions of people with Trisomy 21 Down Syndrome, and their potential. Santos leads the T21 team with astounding energy, earnestness and patience, coaching with kindness but with high expectations to best develop the remarkable players.
The five players in the Team GB National T21 team, Harry, Chris, Andrew and also Geoffrey and Jenny, would all love to compete in this year's World Championships in Madeira, Portugal from the 1st - 8th October 2018. This campaign has been created to help them reach this goal.
L-R T21 Team GB at the 2017 European Championships Jenny, Chris, Andrew & Harry
Brighton Table Tennis Club
Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) was founded in February 2007 with two worn-out tables in the Brighton Youth Centre and the strong belief that table tennis can be used as a powerful tool in engaging people of all ages and transforming lives.
Today the club has its own centre with 10 tables in Kemptown and runs 100 tables across the city in parks, squares, schools, sheltered housing schemes, a centre for homeless people, sports centres and a psychiatric hospital. It works in two prisons outside the city.
More than 1,500 people play in the club’s weekly sessions. Their number includes people with learning disabilities, young people from the Brighton Travellers site, Looked After Children, people with physical disabilities, people from the LGBT community and young asylum seekers. The youngest player is 2. The oldest is 98. The club is the world’s first recognised Club of Sanctuary, for its work with refugees.
Four out of five of the Team GB T21 squad are all from the BTTC. Breaking new ground, Harry, Chris and Andrew are the first three qualified Level 1 Table Tennis Coaches in the world with T21. They each make a huge contribution to the club's coaching program, are great role models and ambassadors.
BTTC runs a monthly T21 session for players of all ages at which the T21 coaches lead the session, generously supported by Pride Social Inclusion Fund & Persimmon Homes.
What We Want to do Now
T21 Team GB all really want to compete in Madeira in the World Championships 2018. Currently they are not sure how they will make it to the competition as there is no funding available from anywhere to support the team. All of the players are all training 15 - 20 hours a week and are fiercely committed to the sport, improving their own games and coaching others.
What will we do with the money raised from your support…
All donations received will go towards enabling this incredible team to build on their performances in 2017 and make it to the 2018 Championships. The entry fee, food and accommodation is £799 + flights per player. For each of the five players in the squad, £1000 will mean that they can afford to travel, enter and compete in what will be the biggest T21 World Table Tennis Championships ever.
What You Get
We've got some great rewards for everyone who wants to help the T21 Team GB out. From signed Believe That posters to opportunities to play with and be coached by the team at the BTTC.
If we can get the team to Portugal then Caleb Yule will also go as Filmmaker so that this wonderful story can be continued to be told through film!