Numbers don’t lie. On Saturday 7th of January, London Academy took on the very best the city has to offer in the Jack Petchey London Schools Team Championships at the University of East London.
When the dust had settled London Academy walked away with 4 sets of gold medals, as much as the rest of London combined.
We dominated two of the four age groups, winning both the Boys and Girls competitions in the Under 16 and Under 11 age groups. Our Under 13 Boys team also did well despite being reduced to three players at the start of the day.
The improvement in our younger players over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. Our U11 Girls and Boys team struggled to make any impact at last year’s finals. This year they were the pick of the crop. Much of that is due to the help and assistance of their older more experienced team-mates, both while training throughout the season, and on the day itself.
The U11 Girls team, (Soraya Rahmani-Walentynske, Assil Sarri, Inayah Zasella, Serene Rahmani-Walentynske, and Ruby Gandi Bamidele) had to play in a reduced field of five teams with their strongest opposition coming from Fox Primary, traditionally one of the strongest teams in this competition. However the strength and class of the London Academy primary girls was too much for their West London rivals with London academy taking their head to head match 7-1.
The U11 Boys competition saw 8 teams fight it out in two groups. London Academy (Yacoub Rahmani-Walentynske, Zacharia Sarri, Lewis MacSween, Adam Riadi, Stefan Pop and Korey Samuda) came second in their group after the narrowest of losses to the powerful St Edward’s Catholic Primary School. Despite their match finishing 4-4, the Westminster boys took the division on the number of sets won.
Both teams went through to the knockout rounds and ended up facing each other again in the final. This time London Academy were determined to set the record straight, winning a nail-biting final by 5 sets to 3. Every player contributed to the final victory, with the crucial win coming when Lewis came back from 2-1 down to win his final match of the day. A straight sets win by Adam sealed the victory.
The U16 Girls team, (Sienna Jetha, Alisha Dutta, Mauli Shah and Tadeea Aparaschivei) won gold in an extremely strong group. They sealed their victory by beating the talented St Georges Catholic School girls into second place.
The Boys Under 16s (Fernando Frandes, Parsa Yamin, Shahuraj Nimse, Devan Shan and Ilyes Djeraoui) proved too strong for their opponents, including their closest rivals, Whitgift Academy.
Both U16 teams went though the day without a single loss.
Congratulations to all of our winning teams, who will now go forward to the regional finals.