World Number 1 Paralympic table tennis star Will Bayley has been unveiled as Merkur UK’s first Brand Ambassador. Will, who has appeared in a number of television shows, most memorably the 2019 series of BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing will take a central role in the development of the Merkur Initiative programme which has provided financial support to 44 community-based charities and good causes over the last 12-months.
Welcoming Will to the Merkur UK family, General Manager, Sascha Blodau said: “First of all it’s a total pleasure to have the World Number 1 join the winning team at Merkur UK!
“Will has a remarkable story having been born with a rare congenital disorder that affected all four of his limbs. He underwent numerous operations at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital from the age of just three months and returned to the acclaimed children’s hospital for chemotherapy treatment after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma aged 7-years.
“Having taken up table tennis while recovering from cancer he has gone on a remarkable and inspirational journey to become the most successful British Paralympic Table Tennis player of all time and was confirmed as the World Number 1 at a recent tournament in Finland. His fascinating story also includes a period attending the Brit School for performing arts and drama as well as being made an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.”
He added: “Will has overcome so many challenges and demonstrated the fortitude and skills which have seen him succeed in many different fields. His motto is ‘Inspire: Believe: Achieve’ and I look forward to working with him on a programme of activities not least our inspirational Merkur Initiative scheme which has already helped so many charities and good causes nominated by our venues for their outstanding work in the community.
“It is a great honour for Merkur UK to be supporting Will as he prepares for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
Speaking at a photo-shoot to launch the partnership Will Bayley added: “I am really looking forward to working with Sascha and the team at Merkur UK. The work they are doing in the community is outstanding and I hope to be able to contribute my insight and life experience, working with the team to identify recipient charities, seeing how they are progressing and doing what I can to help. The photo-shoot was great fun and it took place just days before I won the tournament in Finland to be confirmed as World Number 1. I can’t wait to get started!”