A ping pong supremo turned-journalist launched a school's new table tennis academy.

Greenshaw High School has started a table tennis academy and former champion Matthew Syed, now a Times and BBC journalist, visited to launch the project by hitting a ball at a target to trigger curtains opening to reveal a plaque marking the occasion.

Your Local Guardian:

Matthew Syed with the school's table tennis players and staff

The table tennis foundation has been launched with the help of funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation's table tennis donation scheme and will be run in collaboration with the Rosehill Table Tennis Club.

Mr Syed, who has competed at the Olympics, gave a talk to pupils. During it, he said: "Sport in school is not just about students becoming better players, it’s also about developing their character.

"It helps them to understand how they can improve, the importance of hard work, punctuality, respect for the rules and, perhaps above all else, how to deal with failure and adversity."

He also played an exhibition match against former England under 18  player Steve Beerling who is now ranked 20th in the country and challenged PE teacher Chris Higgins to a match.