Arsenal in the Community earned early bragging rights among their London counterparts last month, after a talented group of ten young table tennis players triumphed in the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) London Table Tennis Cup 2011.
Held at the established Ellenborough Table Tennis Club in Enfield, the inaugural competition saw the Gunners compete against the Chelsea Foundation, West Ham United Community Sports Trust and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation for the right to be crowned London champions.
For some of the youngsters involved, it was their first ever table tennis tournament, while for other more experienced players, it offered a chance to test themselves against their peers from other clubs. The 10 Arsenal players combined youngsters from no fewer than six different schools, who come together each week for training at the new Arsenal Community Table Tennis Club at St. Aloysius College in Islington.
The teams were split into three groups of three, with points being awarded for each game across each division. When the scores were combined, Arsenal in the Community ran out narrow winners.
To celebrate their success, the group was presented to the crowd ahead of the recent Emirates Cup tournament, where they met Arsenal defender, Laurent Koscielny, and received a warm round of applause for their efforts.
Jay Ghazi-Timms, who was the star of the show for Arsenal, winning all of his matches in the competition, commented: "I am so happy to have won all my games. I played in the Fred Perry Cup for Arsenal last year, but winning today was even better. We played really well as a team."
Over the past year, Arsenal in the Community has made fantastic strides with its table tennis programme. Arsenal Community Table Tennis Club has recently been affiliated to the ETTA, achieving ‘Premier Club' status. The Club has also had some very impressive results at the table, both in team competitions and with individuals such as Tyla Anderson, who has risen 89 places to 21 in the British Junior rankings recently. This is the culmination of hard work, dedication and tremendous efforts from Arsenal's coach Steve Achille. Well done to everyone who has contributed to the successes this year.
Premier League 4 Sport forms part of the Government's ambition to offer young people five hours of sport a week, as part of its London 2012 legacy plans. It will also address the drop-off in sports participation when young people leave secondary school.
Arsenal in the Community holds Premier League 4 Sport sessions across the boroughs of Islington, Camden and Hackney, usually between 3.30-6.00pm on weekdays. For full details of sessions and more information, please see the website www.arsenal.com/community or contact Ross McKinley on 0207 704 4147 firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source