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By Jonathan Green
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Camden’s Louis Mennear says it was an honour to represent his borough on the track at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games.
Mennear shared Crystal Palace’s National Sports Centre with 15,000 fellow athletes from all 33 London boroughs as the battle for the prestigious Jubilee Trophy reached its climax at the weekend.
Camden overcame a number of withdrawals due to injury to perform with pride in a number of different sports, with Mennear doing his bit in no less than three events.
He competed in the javelin, 4x100m relay and the 800m – in which he came third in his heat – and believed the most important thing was enjoying the whole experience that came with the Games.
“I took part in three events to help the team and fill in for people who pulled out, so it was a busy day,” said Mennear, who attends College Francais Bilingue de Londres.
“The London Youth Games is really cool, taking place in such a big stadium and I’d love to come back next year. I’ve been to school with a lot of this Camden team so we’re quite close and enjoy competing together.
“I’d be really happy to run the 800m again next year for Camden and any other events they might need help with. I take sport seriously and try to do as well as I can every time I race.
“I’m hoping to run in the London Youth Games cross-country event this winter as well as doing the athletics at the finals weekend in the summer.”
Camden finished 22nd in the overall Jubilee Trophy standings – with Wandsworth taking the title.
That represented a five-place improvement on last year, while the borough competed in 38 events across the entire 2014 Games.
There was an impressive fifth-place finish in the girls’ football and Camden were 16th in the indoor rowing event.
They had not entered a team in that discipline last year, but South Hampstead pupil Grace Taylor was encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.
“My friends and I were saying that we should take up a weird sport like indoor rowing and as soon as we started it we all wondered why we hadn’t been doing it for ages,” she said.
“We wanted to do something that we hadn’t done before and something that most people hopefully aren’t incredible at, and it was just so much fun.
“The London Youth Games are really good fun because you get to meet new people and it feels almost like a mini-Olympics, because there are so many sports and it gives people the opportunity to try different sports as well.
“I didn’t know what indoor rowing was when I went to the trials. I thought it was maybe a pool with a boat on it. I also didn’t think it was a spectator sport but the atmosphere was incredible and it was great to see so many people getting behind it.”
The London boroughs and Balfour Beatty invest in the London Youth Games to build stronger communities through competitive sport.