Table Tennis Academy win Junior British League title
Our Table Tennis academy are rejoicing in a well-deserved win in the Junior British League. Having competed for 17 years and winning silver 4 times, this year the boys team had a taste of victory as they claimed the title.
Head coach, Gavin Evans travelled with both the boys’ and girls’ team to the Velodrome in Derby where the competition takes place every year, hand-picking 4 of the top players for the boys’ team to compete and 5 of the top players for the girls’ team.
The academy is currently in the premier division for Table Tennis where the most prestigious teams play and out of the 400 players who competed in the Junior British League on the 26/27th January and 2/3rd February they also came out on top.
Our girls team also competed against 49 other teams and came out 5thoverall. Playing for the girls’ team were Mollie Patterson, Danielle Kelly, Raquel Sao Pedro, Lydia John and Sophie Barlow. This was the biggest competition that they’d competed at within the team and are all really proud of their achievements.
Gavin Evans said of the triumph: “they live and train here every day, it’s such an achievement as they are all home grown and they are competing against teams who’ve bought in some of the most prestigious and skilled players from across the world.
“We started the final day a point behind, it was so nice to see them come together as a team and end up ahead on the final day. We’ve waited a long time for this so it’s a fantastic achievement.”
Boys team player, Shayan Siraj has been playing table tennis for 8 years now and is the England Junior Number 1 boy since the start of this season. Shayan studies business at Grantham College and has been playing for the academy for 1 and a half years. He said of the victory: “it was a tough event and it was very close but we came out on top.
“I’d like to take a year out next year to travel to Germany or Sweden to compete in Table Tennis competitions and then eventually go to University to study business.”
Joining Shayan on the boys’ team were Will Dobinson, Luc Miller and Hippolyte Levy. Hippolyte has joined the table tennis academy from France and is attending for a year after hearing about it from a previous player at the academy.
The next steps for the boys will be to compete in the individual competitions of the junior and senior nationals. Congratulations to all that competed for us; we’re very proud of their achievements!
Photo credit: Chris Raynor