Herts Youth Games: Stevenage

Youngsters from Stevenage had a hard time at the Herts Youth Games over the weekend. The games, which involve teams selected from local schools and clubs, provide an opportunity for youngsters to represent their district against the others in the county.

Youngsters from Stevenage had a hard time at the Herts Youth Games over the weekend.

The games, which involve teams selected from local schools and clubs, provide an opportunity for youngsters to represent their district against the others in the county.

The Herts Youth Games, sponsored by the Herts Sports Partnership and the 10 district councils, attracted around 2000 young athletes.

Twenty competitive events took place over two days at the stunning facilities of the Herts Sports Village, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield.

The games also had the support of guest celebrities Colin Jackson and Alison Mowbray.

Former world record holding 110m hurdler Jackson and Olympic silver medallist rower Mowbray presented medals to the winning teams.

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Some of the Stevenage performances were:

* Team Stevenage enjoyed their best ever finish for the sportshall athletics (under-nines), finishing second and collecting silver medals from Alison Mowbray.

Coach Mark Wright said: "They are the best group of athletes we've had results wise and they are such nice kids and a pleasure to coach."

The team finished half a point ahead of St Albans and a point ahead of fourth place.

Team - Luke Howells, Nick White, Kit Brown, Samuel Murphy, Joseph Churms, Adam Anderson, Jacob Wallice, Aiden Ramscart, Jasmine Eggleton, Abigail Wells, Leah Littlechild, Emily-Jayne Loughrey, Eleanor Pertuclucci, Kathryn Smith, Kacey Young and Laura Davidson.

They were drawn mainly from Knebworth, Graveley, Walkern, Longmeadow, Camps Hill and St Margaret Clitherow schools.

* The under-11 mixed athletics team, coached by Kelly MacGunnies of Barclay School, rallied to accomplish a solid achievement of eight.

Team - Daniel Sanford, Andrew Smith, Harry Samuels, Matthew Coe, Asa Layele, Zayd El Quayas, Ziddane El Quayas, Lewis Rodgers, Nathan Gardner, Caoimhe, Bethany, Lucy Merrel, Valeria Pertuclucci, Kimberley, Gemma, Sonya as well as Eleanor and Kathryn from the under-nines. Support from Kara Jarvis.

* The Stevenage under-12 (Year Seven) female basketballers were hard pressed in this year's tournament, playing all their games, back to back.

Despite this they started brightly with opening victory over East Herts but then going down three in a row with fatigue setting in, but credit to the girls who came back strongly with victories over Watford and Broxbourne.

Coach Amanda Pollard "was so proud of the team" which came away "buzzing from the tournament and hungry for more".

A respectable fifth place finish was a credit to all the girls involved - Alicia Garrett, Cheyenne Garrett, Lilly Kato, Laura Hobbs, Xenia Baranovia, Elladay Blanchfield, and Nicole Martin. Support from Kara Jarvis.

* The basketball boys stormed to the top of their group with a tight victory over arch rivals St Albans but going down by a single point to Three Rivers after missing many chances to win the game late on.

With the pressure on, the team blew past Broxbourne by a massive 22 points to one.

After a hard-fought semi-final, the team failed to replicate their success going down again by a point to North Herts.

But the boys did win their play-off to finish third and collect their bronze medals from Colin Jackson.

Coach Mark Wright's team was captain Liam Angus, Michael Samuels and Ryan Muttotta (John Henry Newman School), Jordan Barker, Liam Ayton (Barnwell), Charlie Knight (Heathcote), Oliver Provincal-Wise and Alfie West (Peartree Spring), and Tomas Tunstal (Almond Hill).

* The table tennis team was entirely made up of teenagers from Marriotts who have a keen interest in the sport.

Some of the team play regularly, while some play during curriculum time in school.

Team Stevenage increased in confidence as the tournament went on, eventually winning three singles games and one doubles.

Gina Kelly, sports co-ordinator, was very proud of the team who also umpired matches and practiced during their games.

The team have been invited to attend county training to improve their table tennis further. Bill Price assisted with the team.

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