Fred Perry Urban Cup Table Tennis Experience – The Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup 2011

Newcastle United Foundation, in conjunction with a new initiative called Premier League 4 Sport, has been creating chances for local school children to participate in 4 different sports, one of which is Table Tennis. One of those opportunites is to compete in the Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup.

The Fred Perry Urban Cup is a nationwide Table Tennis team competition, aimed at a grassroots level of participation within major towns and inner city areas.

In partnership with the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) programme and the English Table Tennis Association, the Fred Perry Urban Cup will give young people from across the country the opportunity to take part in the competition through their engagement with local Premier League Clubs.

The PL4S programme is delivered in partnership with the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. Its key aim is to offer young people the opportunity to play high quality sport more often. The programme sees each of 20 Premier League Clubs linking with a local Table Tennis Community Club know as a “hub-club”. Each hub club is then linked to up to 4 satellite clubs offering table tennis to young people from their communities. Locally the Premier League Club is Newcastle United FC and the Hub-Club is Cramlington Table Tennis Club.

The Urban Cup will see competition taking place at three levels and provide specialised coaching:

Level 1 – Intra Satellite Club Competitions

During September and October 2011 young people at 5 local schools have been attending sessions at satellite clubs connected to the school and offered the opportunity for coaching and to take part in the Urban Cup competitions held at each club. The best of these youngsters have been selected to represent their PL4S satellite club at Level 2.

Level 2 – Inter Satellite Club Competitions

On Friday 4 November 2011 those coming forward from level 1 competitions at the satellite  competed against each at the Level 2 stage of the competition. The competition was held at Cramlington Table Tennis Club which meets at the Sporting Club Cramlington, Cramlington Learning Village, Highburn, Cramlington NE23 6BN. The individual winners from this stage have been  invited to represent their PL4S Premier League Football Club at the National Team Final. The 2 boys are Shaun Smith and Daryl Penton, both from John Spence Community High School, North Shields. The girls are Jessica Waugh, Bothal Middle School, Ashington and Anna Sowerby, St Marys Catholic Comprehensive School, Newcastle. The team will be  representing Newcastle United FC in the Final.

Competitors in the 2011 Level 2 competition

Level 3 – National Team Final

On 3 December 2011 the 20 PL4S Premier League Club teams will compete in the National Team Finals at the London Business Design Centre in Islington. The winning Club will be crowned Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup Champions 2011. Newcastle United FC will be represented by Shaun Smith, Daryl Penton, Anna Sowerby and Jessica Waugh who are pictured below with NUFC players James Perch and Peter Lovenkrands.

See also the coverage on the Newcastle United Foundation website

The weekend arrives

On Friday morning 2 December 2011 the team of Shaun Smith, Daryl Penton, Anna Sowerby and Jessica Waugh accompanied by Lisa Bell, PL4S co-ordinator for Newcastle United and Alan Hedley, Coach and Chairman of Cramlington Table Tennis Club, set off from Newcastle Central Station to their destination.

On arrival at Kings Cross they travelled to their hotel in Shoreditch and after booking in they visited some of the sights of London.

After enjoying their evening meal the team decided on an early bedtime in preparation for the big event on the following day.

Saturday 3 December 2011 arrived. Breakfast was eaten and the team joined many of the other teams in a coach taking them to the London Business Design Centre, Islington to participate in the Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup 2011.

The event brought together 22 present and past Premier League football clubs from up and down the country and the atmosphere in the Design Centre was fantastic.

In the opening games Newcastle United faced Manchester City and West Bromich Albion and competed very well playing some exceptional table tennis.

The girl’s advanced to the quarter finals and were narrowly beaten by Arsenal FC. The boys went onto play Liverpool, Manchester United and local rivals Middlesbrough picking up valuable points along the way.

Coach Alan Hedley said “Our players gave a 100% effort and you can’t ask for any more than that. The whole experience of the trip to London and the table tennis will stay with them for a long time. They were a credit to Newcastle United and their individual schools.”

Jessica Waugh, from the girls’ team said “ It was fantastic going to London and representing Newcastle United. The experience has been very enjoyable and different from any I have previously had when taking part in other sports”.

An added and unexpected bonus was the presence of the Premier League Trophy and each team member was photographed with it.


FLASH BACK to Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup 2010

The Newcastle United team pictured with Darius Knight (then England number 2) and Lisa Bell from the Newcastle United Foundation.

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