Morpeth pupils serve up success at East London region table tennis finals

PUBLISHED: 15:30 06 March 2018

Morpeth School's Lily Durand), Yasna Hawbash, Nabilah Rifat and Amalie Rawding-Miah celebrate at the East London finals of the Jack Petchey Foundation singles competition (pic Stephen Pover/JPF)

Morpeth School's Lily Durand), Yasna Hawbash, Nabilah Rifat and Amalie Rawding-Miah celebrate at the East London finals of the Jack Petchey Foundation singles competition (pic Stephen Pover/JPF)

Stephen Pover

Morpeth School pupils took top honours at the Jack Petchey East London regional singles table tennis competition at the Copper Box Arena.

The event, held in partnership with Table Tennis England, brought together 138 players from 13 schools across four age groups for boys and girls.

The under-19 girls’ title was won by Morpeth’s Nabilah Rifat, 18, who beat Leteya Mulgrave, 19, from Urban Adventure Base in Tower Hamlets 2-0 in their final.

Rifat has been playing for six years and has played in all age categories in the competition, individual and team events, with other wins.

“I love the sportsmanship and competition in table tennis. I was very happy with my game and can’t wait for the final,” she said.

The under-13 girls’ title was won by Morpeth’s Amalie Rawding-Miah, 13, who beat Tafifa Taybi, 12, from Newham’s Eastlea school 2-0.

Rawding-Miah has been playing for 18 months, after discovering table tennis in PE sessions at school, and said: “I played well and I am getting better all the time. I think it helps playing in the individual competition as the team event. I got to the final last year but didn’t do well. This year it’s going to be different.”

Morpeth’s Yasna Hawbash, 14, won the under-16 girls’ title with a 3-1 win over team-mate Lily Durand and Murhad Hassain, 17, beat Mohammed Mohammed Raqueeb, also 17, from Newham Sixth Form College 2-0 to win the under-19 boys’ title.

Robbie Davidson, 13, was a runner-up in the under-13 boys’ final after losing 2-0 to Ben Hee from City of London School for Boys.

All winners will go on to play in the London finals at Brunel University on June 9.

The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes donation of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables and equipment, with 1,600 tables donated to 350 secondary schools, colleges and youth clubs in London and Essex so far.

Over 5,884 students have played in competitions in the last year, with over 40,000 directly impacted by the scheme since it started.

Gemma Dunbar, head of project grants at the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “Table tennis is exciting, engaging and fast paced. When we started in 2010 we had no idea so many young people would take part. Congratulations to everyone, you’re champions!”

Greg Yarnall, head of development and volunteering at Table Tennis England, said: “We thank the Jack Petchey Foundation for encouraging more you people to take up table tennis. We are very grateful for their continuing support for this programme which is a wonderful testimony for this partnership.”

Sir Jack Petchey CBE, the 92-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation, is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity.

He added: “As a young man I absolutely loved playing table tennis. It kept me fit and active and looking back I can see how it also developed my self-discipline and confidence.

“It’s great to know so many take part in the sport every week. That’s why this programme is so close to my heart.”

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