HARROW youngsters competing in the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games are through to the finals in tennis, girls hockey and girls table tennis.
In an exciting two days of action at Redbridge Sports Centre which saw more than over 1200 young people competing across seven sports, Harrow topped their qualifying group in the tennis tournament. The youngsters won all of their matches, which consisted of three rubbers - a boy’s singles, girl’s singles and mixed doubles.
Bronze medallists in 2011, Harrow saw off teams from Barnet, Islington and Redbridge to secure their place in this year’s finals which take place at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace on July 6 and 7.
Harrow’s hockey girls have also secured their place in the final line-up at Crystal Palace after securing automatic qualification in their group, finishing second behind 2010 winners Richmond.
Team Manager Gary Thompson said: “The girls just got better and better and we really deserved qualification. They started a little bit slowly but picked up, and they got their heads up and did the hard work. They were confident and determined and pushed themselves really hard. They worked hard for each other and realised they could do well.
“We have a couple more sessions when we will be looking to fine tune our game. The finals are difficult because it is the best of London. We have to prepare as hard as we can and deliver our best. The team finished eleventh last year and I definitely want to do better than that. Whether or not we can turn over some of the really strong south London teams is another matter. We will wait and see!”
And there was jubilation too for the borough’s girl’s table tennis team, bronze medallists last year. They also progressed to the 2013 finals after beating Redbridge and Richmond in their qualifiers.
The Balfour Beatty London Youth Games is Europe’s largest annual youth sports event with a record 104,463 young Londoners taking part last year.
The 2013 London Youth Games will be the biggest in history featuring 85 competitions across 33 sports and 27 event days, culminating in finals week at the National Sports Centre Crystal Palace in July where the overall winning borough are awarded the Jubilee Trophy.
There were 44 former London Youth Games competitors who took part 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), and Naomi Riches (disability rowing).
To find out more and to get involved, visit www.londonyouthgames.org