OLYMPIC hopeful Andrew Baggaley is getting ready for the biggest year of his life, but has been given something of a helping hand – or should that be seat – by National Express.
The 28-year-old table tennis star is getting ready to book his place at London 2012 with a European Qualifying tournament coming up in April.
And while his playing exploits take him all over the globe, Baggaley has been handed a sponsorship deal with National Express that gives him free coach travel up and down the UK for the next two and a half years.
National Express are sponsors of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and are supporting a number of medal prospects in the lead up to the event in Glasgow, including Baggaley who is still Great Britain’s most successful ever table tennis player at the Games.
His five Commonwealth medals – double gold in 2002, silver in 2006 and bronze and silver in 2010 – make him the ideal candidate in the eyes of National Express who have put Baggaley’s name on one of their coaches.
The man himself is extremely flattered to have a coach named after him, and delighted that his travel up and down the country in the lead up to Glasgow will now be taken care of, free of charge .
“I’ve been using the coaches a lot and they really have been helpful,” he said. “I’ll be using one to get to the airport again soon and might even be on this coach.
“These things really are fantastic. This year is all about being ready for the Olympics and these sort of things are really helpful.
“It’s coming around the corner now. I have a couple of Pro tours to prepare for and the Olympics are close. Hopefully I’ll be peaking just in time.
“This will be my first Olympics and I want to win a medal. Then I’d really like to win another couple of medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – so it’s a big couple of years for me.”
>> You can watch a video interview with Andrew Baggaley at www.miltonkeynes.co.uk