Golden Weekend For Croydon At Youth Games


By - Tuesday 21st July, 2015

Croydon’s male table tennis team won the gold medal in the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals at Crystal Palace, while the female table tennis team and netball squad won the bronze medals in their events.


Photo by London Youth Games Foundation, used with permission.

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Hundreds of youngsters from Croydon did the borough proud at Europe’s largest annual youth sports event at the weekend.

Competing at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals at Crystal Palace, their Male Table Tennis team won gold while there were bronze medals for the Female Table Tennis and Netball squads.

Croydon’s table tennis team manager Lindsey Smith was delighted to have improved on last year’s result:

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was a bit close, one of the matches we lost after having match point so it went down to the wire and it was 3-2, which was a good win. We were bronze medallists last year so we have gone two better today.

“The boys go to school together and so they play a lot of team events together. Their team spirit was fantastic and they played well together as a team.

“They’re only Year 9 and it goes up to Year 11, so we’re looking to do well in the next two years.

“Their coaching is really done individually. James (Smith) is going off to Bratislava on Wednesday to play in the European championships and then off to China for three-and-a-half weeks, then they will get a bit of rest and, I guess, start again.”

Following eight months of competitions between over 100,000 young Londoners representing 33 boroughs across 31 sports, the borough placed fourth overall in the Jubilee Trophy standings thanks to gold medals in Boccia, ParaGames Male and Female Swimming, silver in Angling and bronze in Male Cross-Country.

British 100m record holder Dina Asher-Smith and Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi were among the former London Youth Games competitors who attended the weekend, sharing the responsibility of lighting the flame at Thursday’s opening ceremony.

Asher-Smith, who competed for Bromley in 2010 said: “The atmosphere is great and everyone is buzzing with excitement. The London Youth Games was such a great experience for me when I took part and the way it continues to grow and give young people from London the opportunity to compete is great for British sport.”

Maggie ‘The Machine’ Alphonsi is one of England’s greatest ever rugby players winning several Grand Slams and the World Cup in 2014. She competed for Enfield at the London Youth Games.

She said: “The London Youth Games is an amazing event, I am so happy to have been here today and to be a patron of the Games. I took part in 1999 and it’s really inspiring to see the next generation who are coming through, some of which will be hoping to represent their country at an Olympic Games and World Championships.”

Paul Toyne, Balfour Beatty Group Sustainability Director said:

“The atmosphere over the weekend has been fantastic and the competitive spirit amongst all of the London boroughs has been delightful to watch.

Balfour Beatty’s sponsorship of the London Youth Games has given 100,000 school children the opportunity to be involved in 31 different competitive sport activities and we are delighted to have helped make that happen, this was the biggest event so far and we are proud to have been part of this”

Around 15,000 young Londoners aged 8-18 competed at the finals across 19 sports following in the hallowed footprints of Olympic champions such as Mo Farah and Christine Ohuruogu, England footballers Rio Ferdinand and Raheem Sterling and one million others who have taken part since the first ever London Youth Games in 1977.

To find out more about the competing or volunteering at London Youth Games, visit www.londonyouthgames.org or follow @ldnyouthgames on Twitter

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Release sender: London Youth Games Foundation

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