Theo Cogill will represent South Africa at the Abled and Disabled National and International teams for Table Tennis.

The 34-year-old man from Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats is departing on Tuesday morning to take part in the Paralympics in Tokyo.

According to a statement by Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato, the athlete has struggled with financial support.

The table tennis professional athlete was the first South African male to win an international medal in Egypt at the age of 14. In 2018, he represented the country in the Commonwealth Games.

However, in 2011 he was stabbed while trying to break up a fight and suffered injuries to his neck, lower back and arms. He was hospitalised for almost six months.

The severe injuries affected his mobility and he had to learn to walk again and to build strength to compete. He has recently received a R10 000 sponsorship from the Mayor’s fund for which he says he is grateful as he has cover most expenses to compete.