End of an Era at Chelsea Academy
Chelsea Academy team lead RBKC to top division glory.Jon Kaufmann – 4th May 2018
A determined RBKC table tennis team, consisting of Harry Derecki, Brandon Cann, and Shahinur Islam, achieved a significant sporting moment for the borough by winning the final round of the National Junior League held at the London Academy in Edgware over the Easter holidays.
This was no easy task. Up against highly experienced clubs from across the South of England, these three players combined to create a winning combination that saw the chasing pack wilt at the final hurdle. It has not been since the glory days of Jacques Vander that a RBKC team has managed such a difficult feat. And to do so in the home venue of the highly combative London Academy, is a testament to the fighting spirit of this tight squad of highly talented Chelsea Academy table tennis players.
The victory comes hot on the heals of another impressive result for the Chelsea Academy and the whole West London Ping project, as Harry Derecki took first place in the Under 13 section of the Inter-regional qualification tournament. Harry will now face off against the best from across the country in this age group starting this weekend in the National Under 13 Championships.
There was more joy for West London Ping as three young players, Annie, Hamish and Fraser from Barnes Primary School, won Division 5 of the National Junior League. It was a tight affair as they saw off strong challenges from both Twickenham Brunswick and Brighton TTC by just a single point. And Annie Williams, now an experienced competitor in her own right, will be joining Harry Derecki in the National Championships at the weekend.
So with the National Junior now at a close, it is worth reminding ourselves that the real victory this season was not so much the silverware won, satisfying as that is, but rather the sheer size of the West London Ping contingent, numbering in excess of seventy players throughout the season. With the emphasis on participation, this was a magnificent achievement. Winning the top division in the final round was the merely icing on the cake.
Finally a big thank you to all our sponsors; Epic Sports, Top Spin Sports, The Lots Road Big Local and the City Living fund. Thanks also to our partners at The London Academy, Chelsea Academy and the Barnes, Hogarth and Ashburnham primary schools. And a massive acknowledgement to all the coaches, parents, carers and school staff without whose help things would quickly grind to a halt.
Chelsea Academy and Ashburnham training sessions resume this week with William Hogarth community sessions starting up the following week. With the Jack Petchey London Championships coming up in June, this is no time to sit back and relax.
Best Regards to all, JK