Students win gold, silver and bronze medals in London Youth Games
Teams from across Hammersmith and Fulham have triumphed in a range of sports during the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, taking place at Crystal Palace.
The Schools Finals on March 26 saw Hammersmith Academy win a bronze medal in the Year 8 Girls' sportshall athletics.
In an always exciting day’s competition the school, led by team manager Leon Lima, were strong in the track events with top three finishes in the 2 lap relay, 4 lap relay and obstacle relay and a first place finish in the 4 x 2 lap relay.
They were not quite as strong in the field events, failing to finish in the top three for any event with fourth place finishes in the standing long jump and standing triple jump their best performances. However, they did enough to secure a hard fought bronze medal finishing on 246 points and edging out La Retraite Catholic Girls School of Lambeth by nine points with gold going to Bishop Stopford of Enfield.
In the first ever Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Learning Disability Tennis tournament on Tuesday 12 March, Hammersmith's Cambridge School won a very well deserved silver medal.
The Westway Sport Centre played host to the ground-breaking competition, held just over six months after the conclusion of the London Paralympic Games.
Cambridge were representing Hammersmith & Fulham against 11 other boroughs from across London, all represented by year seven to nine pupils from a school within their respective boroughs.
Many of the young competitors had some coaching before the tournament provided by the Tennis Foundation in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association. However, they were still in the process of learning a new sport and it was testament to their determination and enjoyment that the tennis improved the more they played.
Cambridge were looking strong from the start with no team able to take more than one game off them. However they did fall to defeat in the last group match against an impressive Stormont School side from Hackney.
Speaking after the match, Cambridge team manager Patrick Addis said the event was a great experience for his team. " They love winning medals," he said. " It's good for them for them to be part of the the team and come away with some success."
The biggest winners meanwhile were Hammersmith & Fulham Girls’ Team who won the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Indoor Cricket Finals at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Sunday 3 March for the second year in a row.
The defending champions had been hugely impressive in the qualifying rounds at Harrow in February, twice posting scores over 130 runs.
In the opening tie they justified their billing as favourites by putting 129 on the board against Bromley. However Bromley fought hard and pushed the Hammersmith & Fulham girls all the way before falling short by 16 runs.
In the semi-finals they were up against Hackney who had bowled and fielded well in their quarter final. Hackney set Hammersmith & Fulham a potentially tricky total of 114 to chase. However the girls never looked in trouble and made sure of their place in the final.
In the final they were faced with an Ealing side who had impressed throughout with their all-round game. The defending champions however put in their best performance of the day firstly setting Ealing a total of 128 to chase and then bowling and fielding superbly to put Ealing under pressure at 6-3 after two overs.
Despite a spirited Ealing fight back, there was no way Hammersmith & Fulham were to be denied and they were deserved 41 run winners as they bowled out their opponents in the ninth over.
Speaking after the final, team manager Buddy Mason was delighted with the victory, especially against such a strong show from Ealing. He said: " You need a bit of luck in these games as it was two very close teams, but you get a bit of luck and bat well and the rest takes care of itself."
Buddy added: "I think it's fantastic what the London Youth Games does. For the girls to have been through an experience like today and to win will hopefully get them to fall in love with cricket."
Indoor Cricket is one of over 30 sports in the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, Europe’s largest annual youth sports event.
A record 104,463 young Londoners took part in the record-breaking 2012 Games. The 2013 London Youth Games will be the biggest in history featuring 85 competitions across 33 sports and 27 event days, including the Thames Water Regatta in June and eight competitions for disability competitots, culminating in finals week at the National Sports Centre, Crystal Palace in July where the overall winning borough are awarded the Jubilee Trophy.
Many You Games competitors have gone on to national success. In fact t here were 44 former London Youth Games competitors in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games winning 14 medals, including nine gold from Mo Farah (athletics), David Weir (disability athletics), Bradley Wiggins (cycling), Joanna Rowsell (cycling), Naomi Riches (disability rowing).
To find out more and to get involved, visit the London Youth Games website.
April 5, 2013