Hackney pupils serve up table-tennis success

Hackney's Petchey Academy celebrate winning the under-19 boys event (pic Stephen Pover)

Hackney's Petchey Academy celebrate winning the under-19 boys event (pic Stephen Pover) - Credit: Stephen Pover Photography

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

Run in partnership with Table Tennis England at Morpeth School and celebrating its 10th year, the event attracted 88 players from nine schools from Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets, making up 22 teams.

Age ranges included U12, U14, U16 and U19 and the under-19 boys' event was won by the Petchey Academy who beat a team from Newvic Sixth Form College.

The Petchey team included George Jackson, Muhammad Mirzan, Daniel Williams and Billy Wooldridge.

Jackson is currently ranked number five in the under-12 age group and has been playing table tennis for five years, playing five times a week at school and his club. This was their first competition as a team and they thought the standard was good despite their easy win in the final.

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Sarah Marsh has been coaching table tennis at the school for 10 years and said: "I am really proud of the team as they are young to be playing in this age range and their first outing together. We can't wait for the final."

Winners of the regional competitions progress to the Jack Petchey London School's Team Championships Final being held on January 11 in the SportsDock at the University of East London.

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The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes competition opportunities through the 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 50,000 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: "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 every week as this programme is close to my heart."

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

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