Hot shot table tennis players from Hillingdon featured in the Jack Petchey London & Essex Schools’ Table Tennis Singles Finals held last Saturday at the University of East London’s SportsDock.

The competition bought together 90 players from 30 schools across London and Essex competing in four age groups Boys and Girls under 11, 13, 16 and 19.

The Boys U19 title was an all Harefield Academy final with Gauriv Aravind, 17, beating team mate Israel Awolaja, 17, in a tough final 11-8 11-9 7-11 11-8.

Gauriv said: “I am pleased to win because I lost last year in the quarter final. I played well and held my confidence through some tough matches.”

He is ranked 29 in the juniors under 18 and has been playing table tennis for three years.

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

It includes:

- London and Essex Schools Championships, team and individual.

- Donation of tables (indoor and outdoor) with equipment to secondary     schools in London and Essex.

- Four table tennis Academies in London and one in Essex.

- Donation of tables and equipment to youth clubs in London.

Sir Jack Petchey CBE attended the event.

Trudy Kilcullen MBE, chief executive officer of the Jack Petchey Foundation, said “It’s thanks to Jack that this programme started.

“He nagged me to contact Table Tennis England and during the last six years 1,734 tables have been donated and almost £1 million invested.

“Since we started it has meant that 36,000 young people have played table tennis regularly and this year alone 1,300 young people have taken part in the competitions.”

John Arnold MBE, president of the English Schools Table Tennis Association, said: “This programme has made a tremendous difference to the number of schools that take part in table tennis in London and Essex.

“The team championship has had the greatest effect with the number of schools taking part at county level increasing each year in all eight age groups.

“This year six players from this region are qualified to represent English Schools Table Tennis Association in the Senior Schools Invitation International being held later this month in Jersey.”

 Sir Jack Petchey, CBE, 91-year-old founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation is passionate about giving young people freedom and opportunity.  

“I’ve been a fan of table tennis since my own youth.  It’s a fantastic sport and I am delighted to see this partnership develop with more young people from London and Essex taking part.” For further information about the scheme visit