Pupils battle it out in School Games

School children competing in the School Games table tennis finals.
School children competing in the School Games table tennis finals.

Pupils from across Tyne and Wear went head to head in a table tennis competition held a Sandhill View School in Sunderland.

Students from each local authority area have competed against their fellow pupils since September to qualify for the event.

The best from each area battled to win gold at the final, with St Thomas More Academy, Whitley Bay High and John Spence Community High among those taking part.

Israel Shodeinde, 13, from John Spence Community High School, said: “I like the School Games for the competition against others and I won all my games.

“Table tennis was advertised when I first joined the school so I joined the club as soon as I could. I now play about three or four times a week.”

Classmate Jack Caliskan, 12, said: “I joined the after school table tennis club and then I was invited to join the school’s table tennis academy. Being in the academy shows you are committed and determined.

“It’s an exciting sport and good fun. Being in competitions gets you hyped up and because you’re representing your school you want to do well against the other schools.”

Following an intense afternoon of play, pupils from St Thomas Moore School in Blaydon took home gold in the Under 16s finals with the runners-up position going to Newcastle School for Boys.

Equally as hard fought was the Under 13s competition with a nail biting win for Sunderland’s Uxclose Community Academy over rivals from John Spence Community High School.

Claire Elliott, School Games co-ordinator, said: “We are committed to getting more people more active more often and want young people to get involved in sport, as well as develop a sporting habit for life.

“The School Games helps to give more young people the opportunity to play competitive sport. The standard of table tennis here today has been incredibly high.”