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Table Tennis 50p Coin Design

Table Tennis Video Transcript

Tell us about yourself - and about the coin you designed
My name is Alan Linsdell, I come from Manchester and I’ve designed the coin for table tennis.

What got you interested in the competition?
I’ve always been an illustrator and so this was an interesting project from the start. When I saw the advert for it I was interested but I didn’t have time to do it at the time and the closing date was quite a way off so I put it to one side intending to do it later and when I did pick it up later the closing date was the following day and I was going out that afternoon anyway so it didn’t leave me much time, so there was no time for research so I did a few pencil sketches on the side of the newspaper deciding on table tennis because I play table tennis and worked out a design but then I had to transfer that small sketch onto the big template that we had been given and next to me on the window ledge was a yellow vase with a circular base so I picked it up, put it on the template and drew around it for one of the table tennis bats, moved it across and drew around it again for the other table tennis bat and then drew a line through the pair of them, drew handles on them, hands on each one and then added a table on the background and then finally the ball with a swoosh going across it which completed the design with a bit more shading to be added on the bat and by doing that I was able to get it done and take it out with me and post it just in time for the first class post to get it there the following day so I was a bit surprised when it won really.

Why did you choose table tennis for your design?
Well I started playing table tennis when I was eight and carried on until I was twenty eight and now I’ve switched to badminton actually but I was really keen on it while I was playing it and I played competitively for a team for about three years as well and I played badminton for a very long time as well, nearly thirty years but I had to stop playing that because I developed a heart problem so then I went back to playing table tennis so when this competition came up table tennis was the sport I was playing again so it was the first sport that I thought of.

How does it feel to know your coin is going to be in the pockets of millions of people for years to come?
It’s amazing really, you get coins discovered by people using sort of geiger counters these days, in a thousand years’ time they might be finding my coin and they will be saying this coin was designed a thousand years ago and the hands on the back of it are the person who designed it.

How do you feel about being part of the London 2012 Olympic Games?
I never thought I would have any connection with the Olympics really apart from watching it on television.