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Alexandra Park School pupil Joseph Hunter nets top prize at Jack Petchey London & Essex Schools’ Table Tennis singles finals

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 June 2018

Alexandra Park School pupil Joseph Hunter faces the camera with Sara Sutcliffe, Table Tennis England’s chief executive, after winning the under-13 event at the Jack Petchey London & Essex Schools’ Table Tennis singles finals (pic: Jack Petchey Foundation).

Alexandra Park School pupil Joseph Hunter faces the camera with Sara Sutcliffe, Table Tennis England’s chief executive, after winning the under-13 event at the Jack Petchey London & Essex Schools’ Table Tennis singles finals (pic: Jack Petchey Foundation).

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The Haringey player lost in the semi-finals in 2017, but made up for it this year by clinching the under-13 title at Brunel University

A hot shot table tennis player from Alexandra Park School took top honours at the Jack Petchey London & Essex Schools’ Table Tennis singles finals held on Saturday (June 9) at Brunel University.

The competition brought 112 players together from 45 schools across London and Essex competing in four age groups – boys and girls under-11s, 13s, 16s and 19s.

In the boys under-13 event, 12-year-old Joseph Hunter claimed the title after beating Adam Palmer, of Sutton Grammar School, in the final by a score of 11-6, 12-10, 11-8.

After losing in the semi-finals in 2017, the Alexandra Park School pupil was happy to come through and win this time only 18 months after taking up the sport.

Hunter said: “I really like this competition, it’s hard and it feels very good to win.”

Table Tennis is the local youngsters first love and he gave up six other sports to focus on being the best he can.

As things stand, Hunter is ranked number three at under-12 level and nine at under-13 and it was his 70-year-old Grandad Edward who got him into the sport.

The Jack Petchey Schools’ Table Tennis programme is aimed at increasing both the participation and awareness of table tennis in schools and youth clubs in London and Essex.

It includes competition opportunities through the schools via team and individual championships with progression to the grand finals.

The scheme also includes donation of indoor and outdoor table tennis tables and equipment. So far 1,600 tables have been donated to 350 Secondary Schools, Colleges and Youth Clubs in London and Essex.

Over 5,884 students have played in competitions during the last year and over 40,000 school children have been directly impacted by the scheme since it started.

Sara Sutcliffe, Table Tennis England’s chief executive, said: “We are in our eighth year of partnership with the Jack Petchey Foundation.

“It’s so good to see a record number of entries for this year’s event and the number of girls playing increases year on year.”

“This Schools competition has become a major event in our calendar and it’s thanks to Sir Jack Petchey that this programme has made a tremendous difference to the number of schools that take part in table tennis in London and Essex.”

Grants Officer Jane Evans represented the Jack Petchey Foundation. She said “We are delighted to be entering our ninth year with TTE, incorporating English Schools Table Tennis.

“The competition today has been great to watch and top quality. You have played your hardest and you should be very proud of yourselves. In our eyes, you are all winners.”

Sir Jack Petchey, CBE, will be 93 next month. Founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation, he is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity.

He added: “I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my own youth. It’s a fantastic sport and gets young people involved in a healthy, engaging, and exciting sporting competition.”

For further information about the scheme visit http://www.jackpetcheytabletennis.org.uk

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