Children at one of the Rhodes Avenue Primary School sessions

Team World Cup leaves lasting legacy

Paul Stimpson

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The legacy project from the ITTF Team World Cup has successfully encouraged players and teachers at London schools to get into table tennis.

After England hosted the event at the Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in February, a lasting legacy project was supported by the Mayor of London and part-funded by the Greater London Authority’s Major Events Engagement Fund.

Six school-club link projects were successfully completed, with 96 primary school-aged children taking part in sessions.

Of those, 54 were female, three identified as having a disability and 39 were from the BAME community.

The sessions allowed coaches to get into schools which they had previously not been able to and also enabled them to secure more sessions after the summer break. More projects will be allocated in the next month.

Schools were also offered a free teachers’ course, which was held at Raines School in May and attended by 10 teachers from different schools in east London. Follow-up work will be done with those teachers in the new school year. A further activators’ course is planned in East London.

In addition, a UKCC Level 1 coaching was held in June, with the second date to be in August, with 11 people booked on to the course, each receiving a 50% bursary towards the costs. All of those on the course live, teach or coach in East London.

Among the projects, 10 children from Guardian Angels Primary School started to attend primary school sessions at Raine’s Foundation school on Wednesdays.

Children enjoy a session at Raines

Coach Maria Ingles, who led the sessions, said: “We started off with the basics, how to hold a bat and getting used to hitting the ball. We also talked about spin and bat angles. We went through a few games off the table and the children enjoyed the session.

“The following week we concentrated on bat and ball skills and then we progressed on to the table.

“As the weeks went on, the children got more confident in playing, hitting the ball on the table and learning the correct terms for backhand, forehand and serving and finally playing competitive matches against each other.

“It was great to have them attend Raine’s and learn to get involved in table tennis.”

Coach Zoltan Koszo led a series of sessions for a dozen pupils at Rhodes Avenue Primary School in Wood Green.

He said: “They enjoyed it very much and because of that I managed to get funding to carry on the sessions till the end of the school term. The PE teacher is keen even to continue it from September, which I thing is a great success.”

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