Southwater Junior Academy team become national table tennis champions

Southwater Junior Academy final team winners
Southwater Junior Academy final team winners

History was made at the finals of the Butterfly National Schools Table Tennis Team Championships when Southwater Junior Academy’s boys’ team became the first ever team from West Sussex to win the under-11 age group and become national champions.

History was made at the finals of the Butterfly National Schools Table Tennis Team Championships when Southwater Junior Academy’s boys’ team became the first ever team from West Sussex to win the under-11 age group and become national champions.

The team of Zach Hodges, Charlie Graham-Adams, Oliver Michell, Sheel Maude and Sam Watts all travelled to Hinckley with their parents and coaches for the competition at Hickley Leisure Centre in Leicestershire.

Southwater’s first match was against The Perse Preparatory School from Cambridge, who were a strong team, with four very talented players .

SJA got off to a good start winning their first match but The Perse came back to level at one all.

They persevered and reached an unassailable lead, winning the match 6-2.

They next match was against Bramley Sunnyside Junior School from Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

A first match loss, rather than disheartening the boys, inspired them to step-up their game, with SJA leading 3 -1 at the half way stage. In a nerve wracking encounter, Bramley’s numver one and two pulled it back to 3-3.

With everything in the balance, Southwater’s strength in depth came to the fore, with them winning the last two matches 3-0 to win 5-3 overall.

With The Perse winning their second match, a draw was good enough for victory for Southwater in their final match against Barnes Primary School, from Richmond upon Thames.

The boys, however, were out to win all three matchesand won their first three matches only dropping one set.

Barnes fought back to bring the score to 3-2, but Southwater regrouped and triumphed in the last three games.

The final score was 6-2 to Southwater and the accolade of being the new Butterfly English Schools Table Tennis Association national champions for 2015.

Southwater Junior Academy head teacher Alexis Conway cited the boys’ sportsmanship, team spirit and determination as being vital factors in their superb achievement of the title.

He praised all the boys, including the fifth member of the squad who had travelled to each event as a practice partner and scorer for most of the matches, and for generally giving great encouragement to all his fellow team mates.