Hot shot table tennis players from Harrow took top honours in the West London regional final of the Jack Petchey London Schools Team Championships, run in partnership with Table Tennis England. It was held on Thursday 21st November at Whitmore School in Harrow.
Celebrating its 10th year, the event attracted 141 players from 12 schools from
Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow making up 34 teams. Age ranges included Boys and Girls U12, U14, U16 and U19.
The U19 Boys event was won by a team from the host school. In the final they beat a team from Villiers High School, Ealing, winning 5-3.
The Harrow team were James Whitcombe, Ali Merchant both 16, Branislav Zivkovic and Abdul Hasib both 17. Ali Merchant has only been playing table tennis for one month and this is the first time they have played together as a team.
They agreed the standard was high and they had their closest games in the final. All enjoy table tennis, particularly the technical side, and competition. Ali said “We enjoyed winning because the standard was high. Now we can’t wait for the final.”
The host school were runners up in the U16 Girls event which went to another Harrows School, Avanti House Secondary who won 6-2. Their team was Sanaiya Modasia 11, Mahek Dalal 14, Shayna Chikhlia 15 and Niraja Shah 16.
All have been playing table tennis for between 1 and 3 years except Sanaiya Modasia who has been playing for only six months. Some play at Hillingdon & Harrow Table Tennis Club and love the sport but this is the first time they have played as a team.
Shayna Chikhlia is taking table tennis as part of her GCSE. She said “The standard was quite good and we enjoyed the competition. Now we have got to the finalwe want to win.”
The runners up team from the host school were Nikola Czarnecka, Shamilli Velayoudam, Saara Zamre, all 14and Ushmi Kabariya 15.
Winners of the regional competitions progress to the Jack Petchey London School’s Team Championships Final being held on Saturday 11th January 2020 in the Sports Dock at the University of East London – UEL.
The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes competition opportunities through theSchools via Team and Individual Championships, with progression to the grand finals. Over 6,000 students have played in competitions during the last year and over 50,000 school children have been directly impacted by the scheme since it started.
Sir Jack Petchey, CBE, 94-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity. He said “As a young man I loved playing table tennis. It kept me fit and active and developed my self-discipline and confidence. It’s great to know so many play every week as this programme is close to my heart.”