Flying start for Wandsworth’s Youth Games team

Published: Monday 27th November 17

The 2018 London Youth Games kicked off to an excellent start for Wandsworth on November 18 with a win for Wandsworth’s boys’ cross country team.

The girls get going

Members of the team started their campaign at Hampstead Heath ready to defend their winning title - last year the girls’ team finished first and the men’s team a close second.

Despite the challenging conditions, more than 100 Wandsworth schoolchildren braved the Parliament Hill course. All 33 boroughs were represented across the eight races, which included male and female races in under 11s, under 13s, under 15s and under 17s age groups.

Even as the rain started to fall, nothing could stop the Wandsworth team’s superb performances. With three individual podium places, Wandsworth were able to win the under 13 and under 15 male categories, which was enough to secure Cross Country Male Champions.

The Wandsworth Team Manager, Matt Doherty, said of the boys, “There were so many fantastic individual performances, but to be honest it was a real team effort. All the boys motivated each other and this is a great result for every single one of them”.

The victorious boys' team

The female athletes were not far behind, but were just beaten on the line by an ever strong Bromley team, meaning the Wandsworth ladies had to relinquish their grip on the overall trophy and claim second place.

Sophie Hoare, winner of the under 17’s female race for Wandsworth said: “It was such a good event, there were so many people and such a nice event to be part of.”

The London Youth Games, now in its 40th year, is Europe’s largest youth sports event. Wandsworth’s team of more than 400 young athletes represented their home borough against teams from London’s other 32 boroughs. Over the past five years, the Wandsworth team has taken first place three times, and second place twice.

The games take place during nine months’ of competitions across over 30 sports, including archery, football, hockey, netball, athletics and swimming, before culminating in a last rush for points in the final next summer.  

Cllr Jonathan Cook, the council’s sports spokesman, said: “This is a very promising start to this year’s Youth Games. I know the young people in the team will be working hard over the next few months to grab winning points. But most importantly I hope they will have fund and enjoy the experience.”

Wandsworth sports development service is delivered on behalf of Wandsworth Council by Enable Leisure and Culture.  For the latest news on the team’s progress, follow @ActiveWands on Twitter

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