Summer Training Camp 2023 – Ängby SportsKlub, Stockholm


Taking part in an international summer training camp in Sweden has become a real tradition for London Academy. Head Coach Bhavin has been bringing players to the Ängby Summer Camp in Stockholm for over a decade now. This year saw the largest combined group of Primary and Secondary boys and girls ever. The nineteen players represented the entire school, from recent beginners to nationally ranked Secondary pupils.

Friday the 28th saw an early morning start and a 6:45am flight from Stansted to Vasteras. From there it was a couple of hours on Stockholm’s excellent rail network until we arrived at Vallingby, our home for the next ten days.

After settling in and doing some much needed shopping, the youngsters played football before dinner, a shower and some precious time spent socialising before bed.

Saturday was spent in the heart of Stockholm taking in the sights. The day included trips to the Medieval Museum, the old town, the Palace parade grounds (where we witnessed the changing of the guard) and finally a visit to Kings Garden Park, for a free concert by the side of an ornamental fountain.

The next day our players began the serious business of training with some of the best players from Europe and beyond (around 200 of them), overseen by a group of twentyfive international coaches.
The training was a well-balanced combination of technical coaching and intense fitness sessions.

From Sunday though Friday our players worked with their dedicated coaching teams in four separate halls. London Academy coaches moved from hall to hall offering assistance and advice, while various parents (Sylvia, Ruth, Rebecca, Amy, Laura, and Anthony) took charge of our younger players, helping with their kit, making sure they ate lunch, and ensuring that they were on time for every session.

Evenings were spent playing cards, chess, or sketching out some designs for club banners.

Friday was the start of two days of serious high-quality international competition. Players were grouped by age and had to play group stages followed by knockout rounds. The following London Academy students took gold in their respective divisions: Yacoub Rahmani-Walentynska, Janak Shah, Korey Samuda and Alexia Ciobianca, with Korey and Alexia scoring their first ever tournament wins.

The trip was an amazing opportunity for all of our pupils to improve their table tennis while making new friends from other countries. For some of them it was their first time away from their parents and the support from the coaches, parents, and team-mates was superb.

A special mention goes to Sylvia Walentynske, and Ruth Gandi Bamidele who came along to look after both their own kids and kept a watchful eye over all the others 24/7.

A further mention should go to our older and more experienced players, Devan, Fernando, Mauli and Alisha, whose kindness and patience helped to mentor their younger team-mates throughout the long training sessions and the tournaments.

Congratulations to Bhavin who started organising this camp visit in October of 2022 and whose hard work and meticulous attention to detail ensured that the entire trip went by without a hitch. London Academy has been taking players to Sweden every summer for a decade now and it has become a real tradition.

We are especially grateful to the school for their continued and vital support, particularly when contributing to the costs of the trip. Without this significant financial assistance, the trip simply would not have been possible for many of our pupils and the results speak for themselves.

Trips like these are not just an opportunity to play sport and to travel abroad. They are hugely enriching experiences for our students which only help to further embed London Academy into the surrounding community.