End of an Era at Chelsea Academy
Chelsea Academy Shine on the Tables Once AgainEamon Brennan – 21st January 2018
There are many ways to measure success in sport. One measure that is universally used is the number of appearances on the medals podium. That seems to be what clubs, sponsors, participants and spectators are primarily interested in. West London Ping is also interested in medals and trophies but not exclusively so. We also measure our success by the number of participants, the pleasure they derive from participating, the degree in which they seem to be improving and perhaps most neglected of all, what those participants do next.
More of all that in a moment. Firstly, it is time to acknowledge some great performances by the seventy strong West London Ping squad who battled away all day in the second round of the National Junior Table Tennis League League held at the London Academy at the weekend.
Pride of place goes to our Division One team consisting of three Chelsea Academy players; Harry Derecki, Brandon Cann and Shahinur Islam. Competing in a very tough division consisting of teams from Moberley, Darenth, the Weald, Horsham and Croydon, the Chelsea boys took third place and put the top team on notice for the next round in March. Chelsea Academy players were also in action in divisions 2, 3 and 4 and all did great credit to themselves and their school. Other teams from the WLP contingent came from Barnes Primary, William Hogarth Primary and some current and former Fox Primary players, Marco Di Giammarino and Francesco Bonato, both of whom put in some scintillating performances. The Hogarth Boys (John, Sam & Marcel) took first place in Division 6, the Hogarth Girls ( Darcey, Quynh, Yasmine & Amelia) won gold in the Girls Division, and for the second time in a row, the Chelsea Academy ( Mustafa, Joshua & Erdene )won the DIvision 7 tournament. Congratulations to all concerned.
But perhaps the key success of the weekend came from one Charlie Derecki who stepped in at the last moment to play a triple role of player, captain and coach. This was no easy task. When Charlie wasn’t steering his Division 2 team in battle, he was coaching, managing and mentoring the young players from Barnes and William Hogarth. He did this with calm and reassuring authority. To see young players step up into coaching and management roles and do so with such confidence is perhaps one of the real measures of success for any sport.
So on three fronts; player participation, sporting victories and developing young player management skills, this month’s National Junior League was a resounding success. Thanks to Eamon and Maggie and all the parents who gave up their day to support the teams.
This week marks the beginning of community table tennis sessions at Ashburnham Primary on Thursdays between 4.45 and 6pm. Adults £2 and students just £1. This extra session now means we are offering weekly community sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Everybody welcome; parents, friends, teachers and of course students from any school. West London Ping is alive and well
Best Regards to all. JK21/1/18