Over the Easter holiday we ran a number of special sports events alongside our specialist partners, with over 350 young people taking part. Activities ranged from table tennis to fencing, and provided a great opportunity for young Londoners to get active.
On the 6th of April we hosted the London Youth Table Tennis Festival, in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation, at the JOOLA Morpeth Table Tennis Club, Bethnal Green. The event saw 105 young people from 12 youth organisations across the capital taking part in an action packed day. Across 20 tables, the young people not only displayed a huge variety of playing skills, but, also took responsibility for umpiring their matches.
It was fantastic to see the development of the young people, many competing in their first festival, as they brought the learning from their weekly coaching sessions and put it into practice. The quality of the table tennis, the smiles on everyone’s faces, all underpinned by a strong sense of fairplay is testimony to the youth workers, volunteers and coaches whose dedication often goes unseen.
At the end of the day the results were as follows:
Lucozade Power League, Shoreditch was once again the setting for the London Youth 5-aside Football Festival in partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation. 34 teams made up of 234 young people from 16 youth organisations took part across under-14 to under-19 age groups.
As well as festival regulars, it was great to see new members getting involved such as St Matthias, Hackney Quest, QPR Trust and Springfield. Over the past three years, over 60 youth organisations have taken part in the festivals and this reflects the importance of football to many young people within our network.
After a competitive group stage of fixtures, the afternoon saw the knockout rounds take place as players, officials and spectators alike enjoyed the mid-April sun.
The scores were as follows:
The Easter holiday events finished off at the Leon Paul Centre, Hendon for another Art of Fencing day in partnership with British Fencing. 23 young people from Shpressa Programme, Streatham Youth and Community Trust and Westminster House Youth Club worked with British Fencing athletes and coaches on their sabre and foil skills.
Having completed their Bronze Award levels through weekly sessions since January, the Art of Fencing day allowed the young people to progress from the plastic training kits to the metal equivalents. Being in a professional fencing setting also allowed the young people to train right alongside fencing athletes from across Europe including Team GB’s Richard Kruse who narrowly missed out on the Bronze Medal in Rio 2016.
Summing up the Easter Events, John Jones (Sports Development Officer at London Youth) said:
‘With the continued support of the Jack Petchey Foundation and specialist partners like British Fencing, we’ve been able to provide quality, affordable and accessible holiday sports provision for 362 young people from 27 youth organisations. Thanks must go to our facility partners at Joola Morpeth Table Tennis Club, Lucozade Power League – Shoreditch and The Leon Paul Centre, as well as our volunteers and officials. Most importantly, we were able to give a platform for young people to get active, develop and build relationships and represent their youth organisations’.