For those who have not yet witnessed Derby Day for themselves, it really is quite the spectacle, with a total of 70 events and 35 different sports taking place last year.

One of those sports which will be making a return is Table Tennis. As is the case for most of UEA sport, the Table Tennis team have found it relatively easy as of late against Essex, coming out victorious in the last five Derby Days. President Jake Dearman, who is set to make his Derby Day debut in a few weeks’ time, will be hoping to continue this trend. I managed to catch up with Jake, as he looked ahead to Derby Day and all the excitement that surrounds the biggest sporting competition of the year.

Despite Essex winning this year’s parallel BUCs League in the Midlands area, Jake still seemed confident his side would come away victorious, affirming that he “expected to win”. Unlike in the BUCs league, UEA are looking to field both a men’s and Women’s Table Tennis team against Essex. Jake noted one advantage UEA have over their rivals being that one of UEA’s players on the women’s team, Vicky Smith, is ranked 18th in the UK. This he hoped would be decisive and ensure UEA “will take the win both for the men and women.”

That being said, Jake is also cautious not to downplay Essex’s chances, citing that whilst the team they fielded last year was quite weak, he is aware they might have “acquired some new freshers.” What’s more, Jake also pointed out that his side will be slightly less experienced than the one they fielded in 2017, having lost “a key player last year.”

While this is unfortunate, the drop -out does open the door for Jake to step in and take part in his first Derby Day. Adding to his confidence in the team, Jake also stated he hoped for “a minimum of two wins personally,” and is very much looking forward to the occasion. The Table Tennis President and third-year Business and Finance student noted that although it will not be held at UEA on April 25th, he still believes it’ll be “just as good as last year.” Derby Day is a unique opportunity for all of UEA Sport to come together and hopefully come out on top again over Essex, before as Jake suggested, “ending the day in fantastic fashion at the LCR.”