Points in the basket but Newham slip up

NEWHAM slipped five places to 24th in this year s London Youth Games table, but there were still plenty of memorable performances from the team of 11 to 17-year-olds, writes DAVE EVANS. The culmination of the 2009 Balfour Beatty sponsored competition took

NEWHAM slipped five places to 24th in this year's London Youth Games table, but there were still plenty of memorable performances from the team of 11 to 17-year-olds, writes DAVE EVANS.

The culmination of the 2009 Balfour Beatty sponsored competition took place at Crystal Palace at the weekend, where the stars of the show for Newham's 500-plus participants proved to be the boys' basketball team.

The pupils, who all go to St Bonaventure's School, battled to a brilliant second place and manager, Caroline Charles, said afterwards: "The team showed great spirit to finish in the silver medal position.

"The boys performed well and I am very proud of them."


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The fencing team, all members of the Newham Swords club had already captured the borough's only gold medal of the competition, when they won their event three weeks ago and that helped Newham amass a useful overall points tally of 867, just two points down on last year, but five places lower in the overall table.

There were also top-10 finishes for the girls' karate team, girls' volleyball team, girls' disability athletics team, boys' gymnastics team, girls' cricket team, mixed badminton team and the boys' table tennis, judo and karate teams.

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Added to that, there was individual success for Sydney Storey, who won gold in her kayaking slalom event, which was held at Royal Victoria Dock recently.

Kym Irmakli secured gold in the boys' disability swimming event and Jasmin Joseph grabbed a superb gold in the girls' karate 65kg event.

Other individual successes were Clinton Crawford, who won the boys' under-50kg judo bronze, Kebra Edwards who won the boys' under-55kg judo silver and Ainsley Crawford, who won the boys' under-73kg judo silver.

Neha Dabhi claimed silver in the girls' aquathlon event, while in karate Kimberly Reyes won silver in the girls' 45kg event, Chinedu Ofoegbu won bronze in the boys' 65kg section and Jay Borillo took bronze in the boys' 45kg event.

Perhaps the reason why Newham did slip slightly down the table was the events they didn't take part in.

Of the 30 sports that make up the London Youth Games competition, they didn't field teams in the angling, archery, boys' hockey, girls' judo, rowing, squash, girls' disability swimming and the weightlifting.

Despite all that, the performances certainly plea-sed Cllr Jo Corbett, executive member for culture who travelled to Crystal Palace to watch the teams in action.

"For many of Newham's young athletes this was their first experience of large scale competition and it was an experience that they all obviously enjoyed," she said.

"We are very proud of all our youngsters who took part. It is the taking part rather than the winning that is important.

"With the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games coming to Newham in 2012 there has never been a better time for our young people to get active.

"We are making sure they have as much access to sport as they possibly can."

Overall Havering took the title, beating Redbridge into second place.

There was some success for Newham in the mini-youth games last Thursday, an event staged for Primary School pupils in eight different sports.

The athletics team battled to excellent bronze medals behind Wandsworth and Harrow after an excellent performance.

They also managed seventh place in the gymnastics and the basketball, 13th in the netball, 16th in the football, 26th place in hockey and rugby and 30th in the swimming.

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