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Eastbury duo serve up table tennis wins

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 February 2017

Natalia Slavcheva
 won the under-13 girls competition at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

Natalia Slavcheva won the under-13 girls competition at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

©Stephen Pover

Pupils impress at Jack Petchey Schools’ event

Eastbury's Sarah James won the under-19 girls' competition at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)Eastbury's Sarah James won the under-19 girls' competition at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

Hotshot table tennis players from Eastbury School and Havering Sixth Form College featured in the annual Jack Petchey East London singles competition, in partnership with Table Tennis England, at Raines Foundation.

The event bought together 103 players from 15 schools from Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, City of London, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets.

And in the under-13 girls’ category Eastbury’s Natalie Slavcheva beat Isla Hammond from Morpeth School in a hard fought final, winning 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-1, 11-5.

She said: “I was lucky I had lots of support, but I need to work harder if I want to improve. I enjoyed playing, meeting new people and loved all the games, particularly the final.”

Havering Sixth Form College's Jack Stockdale won the under-19 boys' title at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)Havering Sixth Form College's Jack Stockdale won the under-19 boys' title at the Jack Petchey East London Schools Championships (pic Stephen Pover)

Coach Miaha Muhammid added: “She played well, but there is still work to do. We will concentrate on backhands and serves. We are delighted she has made the final.”

In the under-19 girls’ category Sarah James, 16, beat another Morpeth player in Nabilah Rafat, also 16, in straight sets (11-5, 11-2, 11-5).

James is used to playing in the Jack Petchey competitions, in team and singles events, and sees table tennis as a good way to keep fit.

She said: “I played well and was confident about winning. I am looking forward to playing in the final but I need to train hard.”

The under-19 boys’ category was won by Havering Sixth Form College student Jack Stockdale, 18, who overcame Morpeth’s Jamie Dignum 11-4, 11-5, 11-6.

The singles finals of the Jack Petchey Schools’ Table Tennis competition take place on Saturday June 10 at the University of East London’s SportsDock.

The Jack Petchey Schools’ Table Tennis programme is aimed at increasing participation and awareness of table tennis in schools and youth clubs in London and Essex.

It includes team and individual championships plus donation of tables, indoor and outdoor with equipment, to secondary schools in London and Essex. Four Table Tennis Academies in London and one in Essex. Donation of tables and equipment to youth clubs in London.

Since the start of the programme in 2011, a total of 1,598 table tennis tables have been donated to 358 secondary schools and colleges in London and Essex.

Emily St John, head of development at Table Tennis England, said “We thank the Jack Petchey Foundation for encouraging all our hugely energetic and enthusiastic players. This is the sixth year of the programme and since then over 40,000 school children have been able to access our sport. It’s a wonderful testimony for this partnership.”

Trudy Kilcullen MBE, chief executive officer at the Jack Petchey Foundation, said: “We exist because we want to help young people achieve in life. We are impressed by the table tennis programme and the number of young people who take part. We are proud of our partnership with Table Tennis England.”

Sir Jack Petchey CBE, the 91-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation, is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity and added: “I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my own 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.”

For further information about the scheme visit jackpetcheytabletennis.org.uk.

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