Gavin was born in Perth Scotland in 1984 into a family of professional badminton players. His love of sport grew at the age of 7 when he started to play Short Tennis. (A smaller version of tennis, played on a badminton court with a sponge ball and a lowered net) Two years later he was Scotland’s number 1 Short Tennis player for the 10 & Under age group beating David Vernon. A year later Gavin retained his title beating Simon Konov.
Moving into tennis
The natural progression was for Gavin to move into tennis. He started tennis aged 10 and benefitted from weekly sessions at Stirling University Sports Complex where he played in same squad as Jamie & Andy Murray.
Two years later Gavin was the 12 & Under National Tennis Champion beating David Culshaw of Glasgow (6/2 6/2) in the final. At 14, Gavin won his final Tennis National Championship defeating Jamie Murray of Dunblane. (0/6 7/6 7/6) A remarkable comeback that would set the tone for his senior years!
Badminton with Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist
Gavin managed to enjoy and mix his love of tennis with badminton. He had weekly sessions in Perth under the amazing guidance of Dan Travers a CWealth Gold Medallist. Badminton taught Gavin that he had to be mentally stronger to cope with the physical exertions of top level sport. A tough but enjoyable 2 year stint culminated in Gavin reaching the Quarter Final of the Scotland National Under 14 Championships losing out to the No1 seed.
Gavin’s love of Golf
Aged 12, Gavin was playing badminton, tennis, table tennis, football & golf! In the Summer Months evenings were taken up with golf.
Gavin would go down to his local private Golf Course with his father Lawrie and they would play 18 holes. For 6 months Gavin only used a 7 Iron & putter (Like the late Seve Ballestreros!) and he would learn over the next few years from his dad.
At 17, his final year as a Junior, Gavin had a handicap of 7. Three years later, entering Senior Monthly Medals occasionally, moving to Sweden (For Professional Table Tennis) & becoming physically stronger, Gavin reached his best handicap of 3. Enabling him to become a Club Professional if he so wanted.
Gavin famously scored a Hole in 1 in Sweden at Kopings Golf Club.
Hitting a perfect 8 iron on the 162 yard par 3 Ninth hole!
Gavin started table tennis aged 11 and within 6 Months he was in the National 12 & Under Team. He started training in the Perth Elite Squad of 8 players & started practicing with Mark Lundberg who was Scotland’s best 14 & Under player.
Gavin benefitted from structured training sessions with Peter McQueen that were organised through the guidance of Eric Lundberg. His game further improved when Eric drove him to British Grand Prix Events from the age of 12 along with his son Mark.
Here are Gavin’s Junior Career Highlights:
- 12 & Under National Champion in 1997
- 14 & Under National Champion in 1997 & 1998
- 17 & Under National Champion in 1998, 2000, 2001 & 2002
- Last 32 of Portugal Junior World Open defeating both European Number 1 Christian Suss & European Number 5 Patrick Baum
- Final European Junior Ranking of 25 after European Youths in Moscow, Russia.
- 40 Wins from 40 in Final 2 Years of British Elite Junior League
- Final British Junior Ranking of 2
Gavin’s Senior Table Tennis Years
Aged 20, Gavin left Scotland and trained in Sweden for 18 months. Playing at a higher level further enhanced his game and ranking. He trained in Koping at Sweden’s Junior Academy for Sport & Excellence.
Gavin has played at the following European Clubs over his career:
- Immo Mortsel- Belgium League 2(1999 – 2001)
- BTK Kalmar- Sweden Elite League (2005/2006)
- Leiselheim – Germany 2nd League (2006/2007)
- BTK Record- Sweden Elite League (2007/2008)
- PPC Villeneuve- France ProB League (2011/2012)
- UGS Chenois- Swiss B League (2012/2013)
- UGS Chenois –Swiss Elite League (2013- Current day)
Senior Success within the UK
From the age of 22 Gavin has been a very dominant force within UK. He has won the British Senior League Title in 2011/2012 with Barrow TTC, Scotland Senior Champion 10 times and has won 25 British Grand Prix Titles.
Gavin has been Scotland Senior Champion in the following years:
British Grand Prix Titles included the following:
- 2006/2007 Liverpool & Cardiff
- 2007/2008 Liverpool & Doncaster
- 2008/2009 Liverpool & Wolverhampton
- 2009/2010 Liverpool, Wolverhampton & Salisbury
- 2010/2011 Wolverhampton
- 2011/2012 Bristol & Cardiff & Suffolk
- 2012/2013 Bristol, Cardiff, London, Suffolk & Sussex
- 2013/2014 Bristol
Gavin has been extremely competitive against all of UK’s best players.
Gavin has been extremely successful against some of the world’s very best players. Here is a list of some of his biggest wins:
- China’s Xu Hui (Former Asian Games Winner) China number 8 at time of win & top 20 in world
- China’s Sun Jian (Top 30 in the world rankings)
- China’s Lin Ju (39 in world rankings at time of the win)
- Constantin Cioti (82 in world rankings at time of win)
- Janos Jacab (96 in world rankings at time of win)
- Christian Suss (92 in world rankings at time of win)
- Paul Drinkhall (88 in world rankings at time of 2 wins)
- Thomas Kainath (93 in world rankings at time of win)
Gavin’s finest table tennis moments are recorded below.
- Top 8 Finish in World Championships of Ping Pong 2014 on Sky Sports
- Bronze Medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Championships
- Quarter Finalist of several World Open Pro Tours
Gavin in 2015
Gavin has become the first UK player in 20 years to have has own Branded Table Tennis racket called the ‘Rumgay Reactor’. This idea came about when he started working with his manager Miles Ross in January.
This year, Gavin has won the National Scotland Championships (March) and the South of Scotland Open Championships (September). Additionally, he finished 4th in the Heritage Oil Sussex European Open Event. (August)