04 Sep 2018

Harry Fairchild, Chris O’Flinn and Andrew Tonkin; they may not hold the same illustrious status as their compatriots Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker but they are very much stars in their own right.

They are the subjects of “Believe That”, a short documentary directed, produced and edited by 20 year filmmaker Caleb Yule.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The film, which is now available on-line, depicts the preparations of the three members of Brighton Table Tennis Club, located on the south coast of England, as they prepare to represent Great Britain at the forthcoming 2018 World Championships for Athletes with Down Syndrome

Also including athletics and basketball, the event, which also includes cultural activities, will be staged in Funchal, Madeira from Monday 1st to Monday 8th October.

Team Santos is the name, adopting that of their coach, Pedro Santos; the film highlights the way in which he motivates the group and challenges commonly held perceptions regarding the limitations attributed to Trisomy 21 Down Syndrome.

Pedro Santos is demanding, he is determined the players should reach their potential and push back boundaries. However, in his enthusiasm, he displays caring, understanding and limitless patience; all factors combining to produce a situation of mutual respect.

Recently the film premiered at the Duke of York’s Picture House in Brighton and will be shown at the Aesthetica Film Festival to be shown in York, in the north of England, the Festival being one of high renown. It is recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Most impressively to date, local screenings have raised £5,000.00 to fund the journey to Funchal.

Harry Fairchild, Chris O’Flynn and Andrew Tonkin are not only players; they are the first with Trisomy 21 Down Syndrome to gain the ITTF/PTT Level One Coaches certificate.

Believe That: Watch on-line

General News Andrew Tonkin Chris O'Flinn Harry Fairchild