Academy’s regional double
Young hotshots win gold medals in U13 and U16 categories
HOTSHOT table tennis players from Hillingdon were among those to take top honours in the west London regional final of the Jack Petchey Foundation London Schools Singles competition.
The event, which was held at Crest Academy Neasdon earlier this month, brought together 41 students from six schools from Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
Hillingdon’s Danielle Kelly, 13, was victorious in the girls U13 category to follow in her father’s footsteps in giving the borough their first taste of that winning feeling on a memorable day.
Danielle, from Harefield Academy, has been playing table tennis for four years and was inspired by watching the sport on TV during the 2012 Olympics.
Her dad, Chris, was a Wales champion and played in a range of World Championships.
She said: “I enjoyed this competition and you get to play new people. I am glad I did well and am looking forward to the final.”
Danielle is a real force to be reckoned with as she is in the England Youth Squad. She has also played abroad and trains daily for several hours.
Fellow student Gaurav Aravind, 15, also from Hillingdon’s Harefield Academy, won the boys U16 category.
Aravind, who has been playing for two years, added: “I like the sport because it engages me and I like the way it’s played competitively. This was a good competition and playing against others who I train with really pushed my boundaries. Last year I didn’t do very well in this competition so I am really glad I got through this time.”
The Jack Petchey competition is a prestigious event which includes team and individual competitions all aimed at increasing participation and awareness of table tennis in schools in London and Essex.
Winners of the regional competitions progress to the Jack Petchey London School’s Team finals being held on June 11 at Brunel University.
The project also includes the donation of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables, which is helping to increase interest in the sport.
As the project moves into its fifth year, 1,365 indoor and outdoor table tennis tables have been donated to schools in London and Essex and more than 21,000 players have taken part in the competitions.
For further information about the scheme, visit www. londonschoolstabletennis.co.uk.
Gaurav Aravind and Danielle Kelly