A quartet of young table tennis players with lightning reflexes has scooped the London Youth Games Team of the Year prize in the borough’s sixth annual celebration of sporting excellence.
Yassmine Al-Amrie, Demi Chante-Reid, Federica Bonato and Medha Verma came third in the fiercely competitive London Youth Games, representing three Hammersmith & Fulham schools against teams from across the capital.
It’s the first time in living memory that the borough has had a girls’ table tennis team at the games, and their achievement was described as “outstanding” at the community sports awards ceremony, staged at Hammersmith Academy.
Each award is proposed by residents, meaning that the nominations are truly ‘people’s prizes’.
This year there was an inspirational talk from Jenna Downing, former British and World In-line Skating Champion, who also presented the three London Youth Games awards and nine community sports awards.
The 2015 winners
London Youth Games
Coach of the Year – Nicola Lawless (indoor rowing). With the official coach unable to attend, Nicola was entrusted with the organisation, leadership and encouragement of all competitors. Despite the extra workload, she still achieved gold in her age group
Team of the Year – Girls’ Table Tennis
Rising Star Award – Jahrel Murphy (swimming). Jahrel raised the benchmark of success, winning individual gold in backstroke and bronze in both relays with the team
Community Sports Awards
Young Volunteer of the Year – Ellie Redman (Action on Disability). A volunteer for more than a year, Ellie enjoys sports, especially football and boxing. Her focus at Action on Disability is helping running sports sessions, supporting coaches and motivating her peers. Ellie completed community inclusive sports training, and has become a cricket activator
Adult Sports Person Award – Aaron Myers (H&F Special Olympics). Aaron competes for Hammersmith and Fulham Special Olympics. His dedication to athletics is bettered by few, and his willingness to train and encourage others to join him is infectious. Thanks to his hard work he has won both 100m and 200m races this season
Inclusive and Active Award – Ayaan Yusuf (Get Set Go Archery/Phoenix School). Aayan joined the Get Set Go Inclusive Archery club early in the year and has helped others to develop this interest. She has helped to develop positive relationships among young people from Phoenix School, Cambridge School and Action on Disability. This was done maturely by being friendly and ensuring no one was left out
Coach of the Year – Alex Rabinin (Fulham Hawks Handball Club). Alex became Fulham Hawks head coach in 2013, a few months after the club started. With a professional playing background in Belarus his wealth of experience and dedication has brought Fulham Hawks from a group of individuals to a club with a strong reputation, progressing to qualify and play in the GD European Cup
Sports Club of the Year – Kixstar Dragon Taekwondo Club. The success of the pupils is phenomenal and highlights the quality and support that exists within the club. There are seven students in GB squads, two students at the World Championship, four pupils selected for the Commonwealth Games, and two students selected for European Championships
Young Sports Person Award – Shayanne Sarsoza (Kixstar Dragon Taekwondo Club). Shayanne is a member of the GB taekwondo team attending the World Championship (5th), was a gold medallist at US, Dutch and British Open, and a medallist at many other international competitions.
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Caoimhe Patterson (QPR FitC Trust). Caoimhe helps QPR football in the community three times a week. A QPR player herself, she has been volunteering during the disabled female-only football sessions run at Phoenix High School. Besides helping coach Nathan in running the session, her enthusiasm in engaging the players and motivating them has been outstanding. Recently she completed her FA Level 1 coaching badge
Sport or Physical Activity Project – City Sports Academy (London Sports Trust). A new community engagement project this year, CSAs have launched on five estates across the borough, engaging with more than 150 young people
Outstanding Contribution Award – Caroline Quist (Phoenix Flyers Trampolining Club). Caroline was nominated in three categories. One nomination talked about how lucky the community had been to benefit from her hard work and professionalism. The club that has been developed has been really successful at engaging numerous members of the White City and Shepherds Bush community, nurturing young athletes to enjoy trampolining.