Paisley table tennis star Martin Perry is gearing up for the biggest year of his life with a unique fundraising effort as he attempts to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

The youngest of four brothers, Perry grew up playing football in the common areas of a high-rise tenement, on the streets and in the playground at Williamsburgh Primary School in Paisley.

That sporting and competitive edge growing up transitioned well into table tennis and has seen him go on to become Scottish and British champion as well as winning more than 20 international medals.

The 24-year-old claimed his first major with a team gold at the ITTF Para World Championships in 2017 and is now looking to make an impact on the grandest stage of them all next summer. 

Currently ranked number 22 in the world, Perry knows he must climb up 14 spaces to number eight to be guaranteed a spot in the elite squad.

However, the cost of competing in the likes of Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Sweden in order to gain these ranking points is not cheap, which inspired Perry to come with a clever scheme to raise the funds.

The Gazette: Perry hoping his fundraising effort can propel him to ParalympicsPerry hoping his fundraising effort can propel him to Paralympics

The Paisley star has launched a ‘Buy A Mile’ project which asks members of the local community and anyone interested in supporting his inspirational journey to buy one of the 6,000 miles needed - the distance of a one-way trip to the Japanese capital. 

“I’ve just launched the website this month as it’s the start of the qualifying process for Tokyo,” he told Gazette Sport. “I’m just trying to raise as much funds as possible so that I can fund additional tournaments through the year if I need them to secure the qualification standards for the Games.

“It has received an amazing reaction so far. It has been going really well. There’s a lot of donations and a lot of nice comments from the local community too.

“It’s an incredible opportunity this year and it’s going to be very exciting. I’m just shy of the first 100 miles which is great only a week or so into the campaign. It’s fantastic so far and there is a long way to go but I’m looking forward to the year ahead and hopefully reaching the targets.”

Perry gets the qualification process underway next month in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, at the Italian Open before a hectic summer which will see him compete across Europe and further afield.

He added: “I’ve got a few able-bodied competitions coming up soon. They’re scattered through the year so I can stay sharp. In terms of the international events that count towards Tokyo, I’ve got the Italian Open in March and then the Spanish Open just two days later. In May I travel to the Slovenian Open before the Swedish Open in June and then it’s the Czech Open and the European Championships. 

“It is very expensive to travel to all these places but it has to be done in order to try and achieve my dream.

“That’s what my website and the fundraising is all towards. All the tournaments this year are all geared towards getting my ranking to where it needs to be.”

You can follow and support Martin’s journey at