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Le Fevre has place at top of the table; table tennis.

WHEN Karina Le Fevre and three friends first picked up their table tennis bats in primary school the only goal was to become a little fitter and have some fun.

Fast forward 15 years and international glory beckons for the latest player to roll off the North East production line.

Le Fevre, 24, said: "When I started playing at primary school it was just something different and a new hobby.

A few friends and I liked the look of table tennis but out of the four of us I suppose I was the one who was really hooked.

"I was picked for the England under-13 squad and as the others eventually stopped playing I was playing more and more.

"I stayed in the England squad at under-15 and under-18 level and now I am part of the senior set-up."

Le Fevre has set her sights on Australia's 2018 Commonwealth Games after proving herself a key member of the England team which competed at the European Championships in Luxembourg last year.

The Thornaby-based player (pictured) has also paid tribute to the groundbreaking scheme which allows her to combine elite sport with a university education.

Le Fevre is one of more than 400 athletes nationwide who benefits from funding from the Newcastlebased, Sport England-backed Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

She added: "Over the course of the year the support I receive is absolutely invaluable.

"Without it I could not study for my part-time Masters degree and train two or three times a week with top-class table players.

"I am often training in Sheffield or Nottingham for two or three days at a time and the funding I receive from TASS helps with my travel costs.

"As an athlete I receive strength and conditioning support at my local TASS hub at Durham University.

"I have been part of the TASS programme for at least four years now.

"TASS helps athletes to keep their options open - and that is what I have done."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 6, 2018
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