Table tennis players had a smashing time

EYE ON THE BALL ... Jordan Dove in action.
EYE ON THE BALL ... Jordan Dove in action.

TABLE TENNIS proved a smash hit for sporty youngsters from South Tyneside who were having a ball in search of golden glory.

School pupils from all over the North East – including competitors from Hebburn Comprehensive, St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Whitburn Church of England Academy and Boldon School – went toe to toe at the School Games at Sandhill View School, in Sunderland, to find the top table tennis players in Tyne and Wear.

Pupils have been battling it out since September to earn a shot at sporting success.

James Gates, 14, from Boldon School said, “I’ve played table tennis quite a bit before, but only started playing more seriously when I joined the after-school club.

“I like the School Games because you have to qualify to get to the finals. This is our first time playing as a team, and I’m really enjoying it.”

Team-mate Jordan Dove, 14, said “I’ve been playing table tennis for over a year, and as well as playing in the school, I also play for a club in East Boldon.

“I like the School Games because you get to play new people and see their different styles and techniques.”

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.”

The project is at the heart of the Government’s plans to create a lasting sporting legacy from the London 2012 Games, and gives every pupil from every school to take part in competitive sport.

For more information about the Tyne & Wear School Games, go to

Twitter @shieldsgazchris