CARLYLE - Carlyle resident Carter Morrison has just returned from Cancun, Mexico after competing in a Para-table tennis tournament.
This event attracted over 170 athletes from over 16 countries, including those from Canada, the U.S., and Central and South America. Several European and Asian countries also participated including The Netherlands, Thailand and South Korea.
Last fall, Morrison was able to compete in a Canadian Paralympic-sanctioned event in Toronto. Only two months ago, he received a call from Canada’s head table tennis coach, Ian Kent.
Team Canada had received notification that Morrison had achieved an official disability classification. He was able to compete in Mexico and was offered a spot on the national team. Morrison was excited to be offered the opportunity and the trip was booked.
Morrison is classified as short stature and his disability is graded an eight on a scale of one to 11. One to five is for those in a wheelchair, those ranked six to 10 have some type of physical disability, and the rank of 11 is for the intellectually disabled.
Morrison and three other wheelchair athletes represented Canada in this tournament, sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation. In singles play, Morrison first faced Steven Roman, a professional table tennis player from Costa Rica. He lost in straight sets and then was defeated by an American the next day. An athlete from Thailand won the singles event.
Morrison had also entered the doubles competition with another Canadian, but unfortunately his partner injured his wrist three days prior to the event and had to withdraw. The American team graciously found him a teammate, and, although they were competitive, were defeated by both the United States and the eventual doubles winning team from Thailand. Morrison and his partner did win their final match against Mexico.
When asked about the quality of his opponents, Morrison had nothing but praise for the competition.
“They are a lot of great players out there, many of whom play table tennis for a living and are subsidized by their governments. I just don’t have the time at home to practise as much as I would like and had trouble defending the tight spin of my opponents, especially on their serve.”
Before being asked to compete in Mexico, it was Morrison’s goal to get classified and become a member of Team Canada. He has now done so and would love to participate in the 2023 Parapan American Games, to be held in Santiago, Chile.
Morrison has had a whirlwind schedule of late. He played table tennis in Mexico, just graduated from Gordon F. Kells High School, and is enrolled in Medicine Hat College this fall, taking elementary education. Morrison would like to become a physical education teacher.
Combined with working at King’s Department Store three days a week, he barely has time for his favourite sport, which is golf. The summer is just going to fly by for this popular homegrown athlete.