Morpeth impress at Jack Petchey event
PUBLISHED: 17:30 17 February 2016
Raines School pupil also claimed triumph in tournament
Table tennis players from Tower Hamlets shined in the East London Regional final of the Jack Petchey Foundation London Schools’ Singles Competition.
Raines School in Bethnal Green hosted the event on Friday (February 12) and the competition brought together 86 players from 18 different schools.
Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets were all represented.
Morpeth School players took top honours almost across the board to show off their talent.
The winners of the regional competitions progress to the Jack Petchey London Schools’ team finals being held on June 11 at Brunel University.
Yasna Hawbash, 12, won the girls’ under-13 tournament despite having only taken up the sport less than a year ago.
She said: “I’ve been playing for eight months so I am really pleased to win. Table tennis is really fun and I want to continue to play and become professional.
“I like this competition and everyone here has been really kind and friendly. I can’t wait to go to the final.”
Anthony Lynch came out on top in the under-16 boys’ event, beating arch rival and team-mate Jamie Dignim in the big match.
He added: “I like to play in lots of competitions and it’s really good making new friends.
“I played in the final last year and lost, but our team won in the schools’ team final at the end of last month. I love winning and can’t wait for the final.”
Another Morpeth pupil took the girls’ under-16 title. Nabilah Rifat, 15, claimed glory and has been playing the sport for five years.
“This competition is good because you get to play against lots of people and it is well organised,” added Rifat.
In the under-19 boys’ category, Rijul Roychoudhury, 16, triumphed against a Barking rival.
Greenhouse Sports coach Helder Neves has been working with players at Morpeth School for 14 years.
She is thrilled the event takes place and believes it is crucial for development, adding: “In my career I have coached national champions and two players who have qualified for the Olympics.
“Table tennis is popular because it is a great sport that can be played across all ages. This competition is always a big challenge and a good competition to enter each year.”
Mayowa Agbolade, 13, of Raines School beat team-mate Samuel Idele to win the under-13 boys’ competition.
He added: “I have only been playing competitively for about a year so I’m pleased with my results.
“I like table tennis because it’s a fun and fast game. Competitors were very good so I am really glad I won and can’t wait for the final.”
Sara Sutcliffe, the chief executive of Table Tennis England, praised the event.
She added: “Thousands of young people have become more active, learned new skills and made new friends thanks to the Jack Petchey Foundation’s support of table tennis in London and Essex.
“The table donation scheme and the team and individual competitions have taken the profile of the sport and the standard of play to new heights.
“They have created a lasting legacy and we look forward to thousands more youngsters benefitting from the programme in years to come.”
Jack Petchey, 90, said: “I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my youth. It’s a fantastic sport and I am delighted to see this partnership develop with more young people from London and Essex taking part.”