by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Defeat but unlike most players on duty in the Belgian city, David Powell is not a full-time player. He must combine work with high level sport. He is a mathematics teacher.
He made his Olympic Games debut last year in Rio de Janeiro and believes there is a link between table tennis and teaching.
“Sometimes I had to use table tennis methods to explain things to my students in class particularly when explaining accuracy with angles. This has sometimes helped to make concrete things simple for my students.” David Powell
A teacher at the Melbourne based Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School, he is excited to compete once again in the World Cup, it is for him a rare opportunity particularly playing against the world’s best at big stage.
“I think the World Cup is the only competition for players like me to have the chance to play against the best in the world and it is always a good experience and part of learning for me. As a mathematics teacher, the subject I teach does not aid my game because as a table tennis player, I already know what to do on table. Unfortunately I never have enough time to practise like other top players.” David Powell
David Powell’s foray into table tennis started when he was eight year old under the tutelage of twice Olympian Mark Smythe.
After narrowly missing out of the London 2012 Olympic Games, David Powell fulfilled his dream by qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games; he was beaten in round one by Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre.
Photos: Christophe Neuville