Wandsworth aims for top spot as London School Games enters closing stages

Students from Wandsworth are hopeful the borough can become London School Games champions for the fourth time after a strong showing so far this year.

It is one of 33 London boroughs competing in the annual event, and competitors from Wandsworth have so far picked up 11 medals this year, including golds in the female cricket and female cross country.

They have also added four silvers in boys cross country, male and female volleyball, and team tennis, as well as bronzes in male and female table tennis and cycling.

The borough has also claimed a silver in the female swimming and bronze in the male swimming ParaGames events, to leave them second in the standings with 944 points, whilst Hackney are first on 951, with one week to go.

Matt Doherty, Wandsworth borough team organiser, said: “It shows that lots of the schools are really looking at sports as a vital part of their day to day curriculum, and all the children enjoy competing in a good level of competition for their boroughs.

“Our aim is to make sure as many kids as possible get an opportunity to take part in sport through, but we try and put out as strong a team as possible in every event and have enjoyed some success as well.

“Both the state and private schools in the borough support it by encouraging kids to take part and offering their facilities and some teachers even get involved in coaching some sports.”

In recent years, Wandsworth have become one of the leading boroughs competing in the games. They were winners of the Jubilee Trophy for the first time in 2013, and managed to retain the trophy in 2014 and 2015, before finishing in second place last year.

In the 40 years since the games were started, Wandsworth has proved to be particularly successful in volleyball, judo, cross country and tennis.

The borough has a proud history in the competition, with Team GB volleyball players Peter and Dami Bakare having previously competed in the London School Games for the borough.

Vicky Griffiths, operations manager for the games, believes this year’s competition will be tighter than ever.

She said: “The 2017 London Youth Games is the biggest games yet with new sports on the calendar and more competitors than ever taking part.

“With the grand finals next weekend at Crystal Palace, it is very close at the top of the table with a number of Boroughs in contention to be champions.”

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