Jack Petchey CBE and the successful London Academy

The third Jack Petchey London Schools’ Team Finals welcomed a V.V.I.P to the University of East London over the weekend – Jack Petchey CBE himself!

After a special day of table tennis had illuminated the UEL the players, coaches and volunteers alike were treated to the prescence of the man who made the entire event possible as Mr Petchey was on hand to give out the awards on this very special occasion.

It was a genuine pleasure to see the 88-year-old on campus in East London as he had previously been unable to attend last year’s ceremony. However, in fine spirit he put a smile on the children’s faces and gave the proceedings a distinctly striking feeling.

Players enjoying proceedings at UEL

The awards came at the end of a frantic day of action on the table with children from across London battling it out for title of Team Champions in categories from under-11 to under-19 age groups.

It was a particularly good day for London Academy who secured three titles from UEL; the Under-16 Girls, Under-16 Boys and Under-13 Boys, while the Under-19 Boys also made the final.

In fact, their Under-19 final against Harefield Academy proved to be one of the matches of the day as the London quartet of Gabriel Achampong, Charlie Austen, Musa Sheriff and Charlie McNally were only beaten on games won (16-14) by the Harefield team of Mitchell Jones, Danny Lewis, Joe Franklin and Nicholas Li after the sides had tied at four wins apiece.

The action was just as exciting off the table with a ‘beat the robot’ competition run by ETTA Coaches Jane Barella and Tom Browne and another competition with Paralympian David Wetherill where players had to return as many of his serves as possible.

'Beating' the robot

The players also had a chance to notch up a high score on the table tennis Xbox Kinect game or even win big in the end of day raffle that included the top prizes of an iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, Instant Ping Pong pack and a signed England shirt.

Pictures from the event are available online here while you can track how the event went by heading to twitter and searching for the hashtag #JPFinals

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who helped to run the event from the JPF, ETTA, ESTTA and UEL. Pictures courtesy of Mark Lees.

Final Results:
Under-19 Boys:
Harefield Academy 4-4 London Academy (Harefield win 16-14 on games won)
Under-19 Girls:
North London Collegiate School 6-2 Wembley High Technology College
Under-16 Boys:
London Academy 5-1 Morpeth School
Under-16 Girls:
London Academy 5-3 Eastbury Comprehensive
Under-13 Boys:
London Academy 5-3 Royal Russell School
Under-13 Girls:
Burlington Danes Academy 5-0 Chelsea Academy
Under-11 Boys:
Round-robin: St Mary Magdalene (winners), Fox Primary School (runners-up)
Under-11 Girls:
Round-robin: Fox Primary School (winners), Barnes Primary School (runners-up)

Written by Russell Moore (January 19, 2014)