STONEHOUSE'S Billy Shilton is this week taking part in an important tournament as he continues the build-up towards the Paralympic Games in Paris later this summer.

A squad of 17 British athletes will compete in what is always one of the strongest tournaments of the year with World and Paralympic champions from around the world among the 266 entries at the ITTF Slovenia Para Open in Lasko this week - May 7 - May 11. 

Shilton is among the nine  British athletes who have so far qualified for Paris in the men’s class 8. 

Also qualified for Paris and competing in Slovenia are Aaron McKibbin, (men's class 8), Rob Davies (men’s class 1), Martin Perry (men’s class 6), Paul Karabardak (men’s class 6), Will Bayley (men’s class 7),  Joshua Stacey (men’s class 9), Fliss Pickard (women’s class 6) and 14-year-old Bly Twomey (women’s class 7).

The World Paralympic Qualification Tournament in Thailand at the end of May will provide a final chance for athletes to qualify for Paris and Tokyo medallists Tom Matthews (men’s class 1), Jack Hunter-Spivey (men’s class 5), Ross Wilson (men’s class 9) and Megan Shackleton (women’s class 4) as well as European silver medallist Grace Williams (women’s class 8) will be among those hoping to take confidence from good results in Slovenia into Thailand.

Confirmation athletes Chris Ryan (men’s class 2) and Theo Bishop (men’s class 7) will warm up for Slovenia and Thailand by competing in the Montenegro Para Open this week (May 1-4) where they will be joined by a squad of Pathway and Futures athletes including 18-year-old Bailey Page who will be making his international debut