End of an Era at Chelsea Academy
Barnes Primary Year 5’s take on the RPA and give a good account of themselves.Eamon Brennan – 29th May 2019
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or enter directly through the Richmond Park Academy PE department. This will be the ninth London Ranking Tournament and the second Satellite tournament.