Satellite tournament at RPA soars into the stratosphere
The ninth and penultimate London community ranking tournament of the 2018/19 season was both a sizzling ninety strong event and a completely sold out event. The second of the satellite tournaments, this one, held at the Richmond Park Academy, had many wonderful highlights but perhaps the most noteworthy was the high number of young girls competing across the three bands.
In line with one of Table Tennis England's target groups, the tournament attracted no less than twenty young female participants, seven of whom reached the knockout stage by coming first or second in their respective groups.
Art the top end of the tournament, Sienna J from the London Academy took equal top spot in Band Four, losing out on the trophy to RPA's Mohammed L only on the heartbreaking head to head rule. Taking on a powerful group of older boys, Sienna showed the whole tournament why she is ranked number one in the country in both the Under 10 & Under 11 categories.
At the other end of the tournament in Band 6 a huge contingent of young girls from nearby Barnes Primary battled away for two and a half hours and underlined just why their school has been so successful in the English Schools Championships over the past decade. Standout performances came from Alice E, Esme B and Helena C.
With four girls reaching the Band 6 knockout stage and Miriam Yonas from the Chelsea Academy going all the way to the semi-finals, it certainly was a great day for girl power on the table tennis tables.
But the girls were not finished yet. Emily C, the only female of the eight players through to the knockout stage, went all the way to the winners podium and claimed the gold medal beating her talented brother in the final.
All in all, a wonderful advertisement for female table tennis and further proof that community table is alive and well in the capital. A huge thanks to the RPA and their magnificent staff for hosting the tournament and a big thank you to all the participating schools, particularly Barnes Primary and the London and Chelsea Academies.
The tenth and final tournament of the season takes place at the London Academy on Saturday 6th July. Entry forms are now online on our website londonping.co.uk. Book early so you don't miss out.
The next London Ping Ranking tournament will be hosted by Richmond Park Academy on Tuesday 25th June from 4 pm. Everybody is welcome so book now to secure your place. You have a choice of three bands 4, 5 and 6 with London ranking points available for every win in every band! It is a great way of being competitive and testing skills against players from other clubs.
Barnes Primary Year 5s take on RPA and give a good account of themselves
Things don't always turn out as planned. What was initially planned to be a Richmond Borough Primary School contest, turned into a fascinating battle between the Year7 Richmond Park Academy team and the Year 5's from Barnes Primary. Due to a combination of unforeseen factors, only Barnes Primary were able to send teams to this inaugural event, but thanks to the quick thinking of Richmond Park Academy PE team, their Year 7 table tennis squad stepped in to create a wonderful afternoon of table tennis. Unsurprisingly, they were a little too strong for the young Barnes contingent, but many of the matches were tight and the stronger players from Barnes did pick up some significant victories.
But, as is often the case in spontaneous sporting events, some real and unexpected positives came to the fore. Firstly, the RPA Year 7's tasted the thrill of victory, winning the day comfortably against both the Barnes A and B teams. No surprise there perhaps, but considering this was the first taste of competitive play for many of the RPA team, it was a very positive experience. And it must be added that their sporting attitudes towards their younger opponents was exemplary. For this they should be heartily congratulated.
Secondly, for the young Barnes players, this was a most important experience. Many of the 24 strong squad had never played any form of competitive match, and coming out of your school comfort zone is invariably a daunting experience. But they were not overwhelmed. Far from it. All of the players stepped up to the occasion and quite a few of the squad really did excel. And this tough competitive experience will surely stand them in good stead for next year's competitions.
The stage is now set for the RPA to host its first London Ranking Tournament on Tuesday the 25th June. On-the-day registration opens at 4pm and matches will start at 4.30 and run through to 7pm. Many of the Year 6 Barnes players are expected to compete and some of the Year 5's may now feel confident enough to play in their first London-wide tournament. Some East Sheen players are also expected to attend as are contingents from the London Academy, Chelsea Academy and the amazing network of Greenhouse Schools. There are three Bands on offer; Bands 4,5 &6. Just email your entries to email@example.com or enter directly through the Richmond Park Academy PE department. This will be the ninth London Ranking Tournament and the second Satellite tournament.
London Ranking Tournament sees a great showing from Richmond Park TTC
Last weekend saw the eighth London Ranking Tournament unfold at the Greenhouse Sports Centre and the twenty plus West London Ping contingent gave a good account of themselves with eleven WLP combatants reaching the knockout stages and four of those reaching the quarter finals in what proved to be a very strong field.
Band 6 Mehdi and Noor al H from the Chelsea Academy both reached the knock-out stage as did Anastasia P from the Richmond Park Academy and Zayden C from Barnes Primary School. Anastasia and Zayden were then draw against each other and on this occasion it was Zayden who triumphed, reaching his first ever quarter final. It took the eventual winner from Eastlea Community School to stop him getting to the semi-finals.
In Band 5 it was the turn of the talented Richmond Park squad to show what they could do and they did not disappoint. Three RPA's, William W, Caio R and Oliver L made the knockout stage, with both William and Oliver getting through to the quarters.
Band 4 saw four West London Ping players reaching the knockout stage; Mohammed L (Richmond Park Academy & ex Barnes Primary and Ed G Z, ex Barnes Primary and Kian K and Oliver L from the Richmond Park Academy. It was Kian who particularly impressed, beating his more experienced opponent to reach the quarter finals.
All in all a successful day for West London Ping given that their stronger players from the Chelsea Academy were all absent due to GCSE preoccupations. Hopefully all players will be back in action for the next Satellite London Ranking tournament to be held at the Richmond Park Academy on Tuesday 25th June. Entry forms will be available next week.
A big thank you to our partners, Top Spin Sports and Greenhouse Sports and to all the players, coaches, parents and volunteers for making the tournament a success.