Hackney youngsters serve up table tennis success

Ed Boakye, Victoria Boakye and Phoebe Boakye from The Wickers Charity celebrate their success for Ha

Ed Boakye, Victoria Boakye and Phoebe Boakye from The Wickers Charity celebrate their success for Hackney at the Jack Petchey Youth Club Table Tennis Festival (pic Stephen Pover) - Credit: Stephen Pover Photography

Hackney youngsters took top honours in the Youth Club Table Tennis Festival run by London Youth, Table Tennis England and the Jack Petchey Foundation this week.

The event at Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets attracted 48 players from youth organisations across London in U12, U14, U16 and U19 age groups for boys and girls and offered a fun, friendly and informal competition for those who have not had a chance to play in matches.

And players from The Wickers Charity, based in Hackney Wick, won medals as nine-year-old Ed Boakye finished second in the U12 boys' event, while Victoria Boakye, 13, won the under-14 girls' event and sister Phoebe, 11, took the under-12 girls' gold.

The Wickers Charity supports young people aged 8-18 aiming to reduce gang and knife related crime by providing opportunities for people to develop new skills and learn from positive role models.

It was only established since May 2018 but due to word of mouth over 200 young people regularly turn up at the Youth Club's two venues in Hackney Wick to take part in a wide range of activities.

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Programme and Works Manager Sam Bosede was delighted with his table tennis squad and said: "We have two tables at our club and everyone wants to play. The sport helps with control and coordination and its so easy to play.

"We like this event because it means we can take our players out of Hackney, get them socialising and taking part."

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London Youth is a charity on a mission to improve the lives of young people in London with opportunities outside school for them to have fun with their friends, learn new skills and make a positive change in their communities.

The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes competition opportunities through Schools via Team and Individual Championships, with progression to the grand finals. Over 6,000 students have played in competitions during the last year and over 40,000 school children have been directly impacted by the scheme since it started.

Sir Jack Petchey, CBE, the 94-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation, is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity.

He said: "I loved playing table tennis as a young man. It kept me fit and active and developed my self-discipline and confidence. So many play the sport weekly thanks to this programme which is close to my heart."

For further information visit https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/clubs/jack-petchey-scheme.

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