Active Lives Inspiring Story: Natalie Slater
Natalie has achieved a lot in her time playing Table Tennis. She started at the age of 8 and from 11-19 she played for England and Great Britain, competing in over ten different countries. This includes playing in the Commonwealth Youth Games and three European Youth Championships.
Natalie's rankings reached as high as Number 3 for English Under 18’s and Number 7 for Senior Women. But Nat didn’t stop there. For 2 years she played for a team in the Swedish Senior Elite Division and today she has turned her attention to Racketlon, in which she is currently ranked 18th for British Women.
Natalie credits a lot of her success to her father Stephen, who encouraged her to pursue a path in sports - “He was my coach, he got me into playing” “I went along to his sessions and never really stopped since then, I just kept going”.
Natalie's achievements don’t just stem from her sports skills. After studying in Sociology and Psychology she now works as a Mental Health Social Worker. But of course. Nat’s natural love for sports shined here too.
In 2017 she created a community project which brings together deaf patients across a psychiatric hospital to socialise and play table tennis together.
The social aspect is one of the reasons Nat loves sports so much - “It’s the fact it’s social, I get to meet lots of new people”.
As for the future, Natalie is planning to continue her mental health work and play sports in her spare time. She would advise anyone who is thinking about taking up a sport to go ahead and take part - “Do it. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. Have a go!”