Youth Games: Beam bring home gold for Barking & Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 15:19 07 July 2017
Pupils claim Quad Kids athletics crown
Beam Primary School helped Barking & Dagenham turn the tables to win the quadkids athletics title ahead of defending champions Havering on the first day of finals at this year’s 40th anniversary London Youth Games at Crystal Palace.
The neighbouring boroughs battled it out across the 75m sprint, 600m run, standing jump and vortex throwing events to take the top two spots in front of third placed St James’ school from Richmond.
Havering’s Ardleigh Green Junior school looked set to retain their title once again but it couldn’t have been closer as a total of just three points prevented them from becoming back-to-back champions.
Barking & Dagenham team manager Bert Hoyte was taken aback by his team’s victory,
“Last year we came second to Havering, I was expecting we could win it then because we had a very strong team of athletes, this year I was expecting to get into the top four at best because we had a few athletes pull out with chickenpox. But the team has done really well to win,” said Hoyte.
“Some are born athletes but it came down to hard work. I told them to just apply the work they put into their school lessons into their sport as well and they’ve done themselves proud. They’ve surprised me.”
Barking & Dagenham pupil Iris Palomino believes her fellow athletes were in a strong frame of mind coming into the competition and believes Hoyte will be the person to thank for any future success she goes on to achieve in athletics.
“I am very happy and I am very excited because we are the first year sixes that have come first from our school. I think we were very motivated to try and win,” she said.
“In the future when we grow up, if we do win more medals it’ll be because of Mr Hoyte.
Earlier in the day children from Barking & Dagenham joined others from 32 London boroughs along with weightlifter and Commonwealth gold medalist Zoe Smith and athletics stars Daryll Neita and Conrad Williams at the opening ceremony.
Children took part in a number of other events on the opening day including basketball, mini tennis, rugby and gymnastics as part of the School Shields Trophy, which was won by Haringey.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the London Youth Games, which is the largest annual youth sports festival in Europe.
Over 140,000 young Londoners from all 33 London boroughs take part in the games every year and around 7,000 young people are set to take part in the finals weekend.
John Hughes, chief executive of London Youth Games, said: “We had an amazing opening ceremony to kick off the 40th Anniversary Summer Finals. It’s such a privilege to work on a programme which gets 140,000 young people from every borough in London more active.
“This is the only opportunity for young people from everywhere in London, no matter what community, background, race or faith, to work together as part of their local team in a fun and supportive environment.”
Teams from schools across Barking & Dagenham will be competing in the finals weekend on Saturday and Sunday. You can find out how they got on in a special pull-out in next week’s Barking and Dagenham Post.