Ping pong wizards gather in Sunderland for mammoth table tennis tournament

Robert Renton
Robert Renton
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SPORTING stars of the future battled it out on Wearside to be named the best in the region.

Sandhill View School, in Grindon Lane, was the venue for pupils to go head to head in a huge table tennis competition.

Pupils from 80 schools across Tyne & Wear pictured taking part in the Sainsbury's School Games Table Tennis finals at Sandhill View School, Sunderland.

Pupils from 80 schools across Tyne & Wear pictured taking part in the Sainsbury's School Games Table Tennis finals at Sandhill View School, Sunderland.

Students from each local authority area have competed against their fellow pupils since September to qualify for the event, organised by Tyne and Wear Sport.

Pupils from Farringdon Community Sports College, Southmoor Academy and Oxlose Community School all took part.

Robert Renton, 15, from Oxclose Community School in Washington was one pupil in competition at the event.

Robert is a former U15s Sunderland Champion and has competed in national championships several times.

Pupils from 80 schools across Tyne & Wear pictured taking part in the Sainsbury's School Games Table Tennis finals at Sandhill View School, Sunderland.

Pupils from 80 schools across Tyne & Wear pictured taking part in the Sainsbury's School Games Table Tennis finals at Sandhill View School, Sunderland.

He said, “I used to play tennis but then started playing table tennis at school about four years ago.

“As I got better at it I knew I had to specialise in one sport if I wanted to compete at a high level, so I stuck with table tennis.

“I really enjoy winning, it’s a great adrenaline rush. It’s also good to come to these events because it makes a change from playing the usual people in the tournaments I usually play in.”

Robert’s team-mate Jamie Collins, also 15, said: “I’ve been playing table tennis for two years.

“I got involved through the school and I now play about four times a week as well as competing in a local league.”

“Table tennis is good fun, especially playing with my friends and it’s a good way to keep active.

“I like the School Games event because you get to play against a wider range of people and you get to know people from 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 win for Oxclose over rivals from John Spence Community High School.

Claire Elliott, School Games Coordinator, 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.”