By Tom Degun

miliband_ttMarch 25 - Labour Leader Ed Miliband showed his enthusiasm for the London 2012 Games as he competed against British London 2012 Olympic hopefuls Kelly Sibley and Hannah Hicks at the annual conference for the Federation of Small Businesses.

Sibley and Hicks, ranked numbers one and three respectively, were attending the event on behalf of Team 2012, presented by Visa, who are raising funds to support 1,200 British athletes to help create our best prepared Olympic and Paralympic teams for London 2012.

The table tennis stars were showing off their skills to guests and offering them advice when Miliband arrived at the conference and requested to knock up with the pair.

Miliband said: "I'm as excited as anybody about the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to London 2012 so talking to any of our hopefuls is a real interest of mine.

"Kelly and Hannah were both very kind to play some table tennis with me and even offered some handy advice - I wish them the best of luck in their training and preparations over the next 18 months.

"It's great to know there are programmes such as Team 2012 in place to ensure our athletes will be as prepared as they possibly can be in the lead up to the Games."

Sibley, the recently-crowned national champion, said: "I didn't expect to be playing table tennis with the leader of the Labour party when I arrived this morning.

"Mr Miliband was very interested in how our training was going and keen to ask us about our hopes for London 2012.

"He was very encouraging and wished us luck for the coming months."

The London 2012 Olympic table tennis event will take place at the ExCel Area in London.

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