Manchester City team in table tennis success
- Thu 10 Feb 2011, 1:52PM
Four youngsters representing Manchester City Football Club competed in the Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup finals at London’s Business Design Centre earlier this month, finishing in 3rd position.
In an initiative launched by the Premier League and Fred Perry that has seen 100,000 girls and boys aged 11-14 try table tennis over the past three months –wearing their Premier League club kit – the four youngsters had reached the final 80 competitors in the country. The four young Manchester City supporters who qualified for the Urban Cup finals were Sophie Shone, Rebecca Reade, Lewis Toal and Joe Conway, all from Manchester.
Manchester City’s Premier League 4 Sport coordinator Lee Mannion said: ‘This was a great opportunity for children from the local area to experience not only London but competing against other clubs. They really did the club and themselves proud, the boys remained unbeaten all day and the girls lost just once’.
Sophie Shone, one of Man City’s female competitors said, ‘I have never been to London before and this tournament gave me the chance to do so. I enjoyed everything about the trip, even my first go on the underground. I can’t wait for the next competition now and I am so happy that I got this opportunity through my favourite football team’.
The Fred Perry Urban Cup, led by Fred Perry in partnership with the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) programme, the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) and Sport England’s Sportsmatch initiative, saw all 20 Premier League clubs link with regional table tennis community clubs to encourage and inspire youngsters to get involved in table tennis. Over 100,000 youngsters aged 11-14 across the country were given the chance to try their hand at the sport over the past three months, with four youngsters from each Premier League club – 2 girls and 2 boys – qualifying to represent their team at the Urban Cup finals last Saturday.
Richard Martin, Head of Global Marketing at Fred Perry, said: “The Fred Perry Urban Cup has proven to be an enormous success in previous years, but with the new association with the Premier League now in place we have been able to take the competition to the next level. Engaging over 100,000 youngsters with the scheme this year is an incredible achievement.”
Watching the action unfold and mentoring the youngsters on Saturday was 20 year-old English international table tennis star Darius Knight.
Darius said: “I was amazed at some of the table tennis talent on show on Saturday at the Fred Perry Urban Cup finals. Congratulations to all of the boys and girls who qualified for the finals. It’s great to see so many kids being given the chance to play the sport that I love; if they keep at it they might find themselves playing for England one day too!”