Three-time Commonwealth table tennis champion and two-time Olympian, Matthew Syed, has had an extraordinary and multifaceted career. He was Sports Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2009, a broadcaster for the BBC and Eurosport, and stood as the Labour Candidate in the 2001 UK General Election.
Sporting Career and Achievements
Matthew has has an interesting and unconventional career. Brought up in Reading, he was spotted by his primary school teacher as having the potential to become a future table tennis champion.
Emerging from a local state school as an average achiever, Matthew Syed studied for his A levels whilst playing in Sweden before applying to Oxford University. Given a place at Balliol to study politics, philosophy, and economics, Matthew managed to combine his studies whilst competing at an international level. Although warned that both his studies and sport would suffer, he not only gained a prize-winning first class degree but he went on to become three times Commonwealth Champion and England number one for 10 years.
Syed has worked as a commentator for the BBC and Eurosport, and as a journalist for The Times since 1999. He is a regular pundit on radio and television, commentating on sporting, cultural and political issues. His film, China and Table Tennis, made for the BBC, won the bronze medal at the Olympic Golden Rings ceremony in Lausanne in 2008.
As a sports writer, Matthew Syed won Sports Feature Writer of the Year at the SJA Awards in 2008 and Sports Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2009. His first book, Bounce, published by Harper Collins, was published in May 2010.
Syed is also the managing director of a sports marketing company. From 1999, he has worked as a Marketing Consultant for the English Table Tennis Association, based in Hastings. He was one of the co-founders of TTK Greenhouse, a sports-related charity.
He also stood as the Labour Candidate in the 2001 UK General Election in Wokingham, coming third in a safe Conservative seat. Syed won a place on the Labour Party’s shortlist to succeed Ashok Kumar for the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in the 2010 UK General Election.
What he offers
A brilliantly rounded individual, Matthew is a superb guest speaker and events host.
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