Hackney boys serve up more table tennis success to win East London bragging rights

PUBLISHED: 08:18 22 November 2018

Pupils from Hackney's Sir Thomas Abney School celebrate their success at the East London final of the Jack Petchey Schools' Team Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

Pupils from Hackney's Sir Thomas Abney School celebrate their success at the East London final of the Jack Petchey Schools' Team Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

Stephen Pover

Hot-shot table tennis players from Hackney took top honours in the East London regional round of the Jack Petchey London Schools’ Championships at Morpeth School.

The team event was run in partnership with Table Tennis England and attracted a total of 138 players form 19 different schools.

Youngsters from Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, the City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets battled it out for top honours in boys and girls events at under-12, 14, 16 and 19 level.

And the under-11 boys’ event was won by a team from Hackney’s Sir Thomas Abney School, consisting of 10-year-olds George Jackson, Mario Danciu and Abderraouf Rahmani and Gael Rodriguez Lavendeira, who is just nine.

After a round-robin competition they beat a team from City of London School to claim the title and it was the first time the Hackney team had played together having all become interested in table tennis at school.

Rahmani watched his older brother play and wanted to get better than him, saying: “I love the game because you can play when you want, it’s fast and competitive. We love winning and can’t wait for the final.”

Winners of the regional competitions will now progress to the Jack Petchey London Schools’ Team Championships final being held at UEL Sports Dock on January 12.

The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes competition opportunities through the Schools via team and individual championships, with progression to grand finals.

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

Sir Jack Petchey CBE, the 93-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation, is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity.

He said: “As a young man I loved playing table tennis. It kept me fit and active and developed my self-discipline and confidence. It’s great to know so many play the sport every week as this programme is so close to my heart.”

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