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Youth Games: Team Islington’s new wave of talent

14 July, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Dylan Gregory powers his way to a silver medal in the kayak sprint

SCORES of talented youngsters donned their green tops over the weekend to represent Team Islington in the largest annual youth sports event in Europe.

The borough’s best team result at the 40th London Youth Games, which were held at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, came in the kayak slalom event where they missed out on a bronze medal by just 0.04 seconds as they equalled the fourth-place finish they achieved last year.

Islington’s athletics teams improved on their showing in 2016, with the boys’ squad climbing five places to 19th, and the girls’ squad jumping two places into 22nd  

Motivated by a feeling of injustice after losing out on third place to Westminster, Team Islington paddled even more rapidly in the kayak sprint competition, earning Dylan Gregory and Caitlin Coyle-Daniels individual silver medals.

Overall the kayak team, who are all part of Islington Boat Club, finished in sixth place, jumping up five places from their showing in the 2016 Games.

Islington took a silver and a bronze medal in the rowing coxed doubles. From left, Luca Fererro, Rosa Millard, Maya Patterson, Laura Ellington, Helena Sergent and coach Julian Sergent

The water proved a happy hunting ground for the mighty greens with more individual medals arriving in the regatta.

Rowers Helena Sergent and Laura Ellington just missed out on gold as they scooped silver in the girls’ coxed doubles, while Luca Fererro and Rosa Millard bagged a bronze medal in the mixed coxed doubles. Both duos were coxed by Maya Patterson.

The girls’ football team tackled the challenge of the London Youth Games, and were rewarded with a 25th place finish

Their rowing coach Julian Sergent was delighted to see the teams rewarded for all their hard work in training.

“Congratulations to Team Islington for their performance at the London Youth Games. It was pleasing to see the borough perform strongly in multiple team rowing events,” he said. “Sport is alive and well among Islington youth.”

Archers Lucia De Batte (left) and Tacy Mallokwu (right), who, along with Tacy’s sister Serina, were trained by Lee Pittis and Hampstead Bowmen – the team that also coached Camden

The swim squad, which came from Anaconda Swimming Club, also made a splash by securing three individual medals.

Competing over 50m, Elena Dewhurst won gold in the freestyle with an impressive time of 27.56 seconds, while Sadie Goldin picked up a silver medal after finishing second in the backstroke in 32.50. Thomas Donavon also scooped a silver after recording a time of 31.14 in the breaststroke.

BMX rider 722 Dexter Cobbling trails team-mate Nyah McKay, but in a race to the finish that all changed with Dexter taking gold and Nyah silver 

A race to the finish in the BMX event saw Dexter Cobbling beat team-mate Nyah McKay across the line as Team Islington added a gold and silver medal to their over all honours tally.

It earned the borough an eighth-place finish, an impressive result considering they only formed a team last year.

Indoor rowers Annie Thomas and Jasmia Charap are joined by Islington Mayor Cllr Una O’Halloran and her husband Ray, and Team Islington’s London Youth Games co-ordinator Daniel Bank after helping the borough increase their overall points tally in the event for the third year in a row

There was fur­ther success in the Para­Games athletics where Maame Sam and Alfie Fage won bronze medals in their respective 100m and 200m events.

Daniel Bank, Islington’s London Youth Games co-ordinator, said the borough continues to improve after seeing them finish 27th out of the capital’s 33 boroughs.

ParaGames athletics where Maame Sam, who won bronze, celebrated with Whizzbee the Bee

“Since 2009 our highest position has been 26th, and this year we finished 27th and improved our points tally by 61,” he said.

“It’s the third consecutive season that we have scored more points.

Swim success for the borough as, from left, Sadie Goldin scooped silver in the backstroke, Elena Dewhurst struck gold in the freestyle and Thomas Donavon took silver in the breaststroke

“I feel having had two-and-a-half seasons as Islington’s team organiser that we are finally in a position to make a big stride forward. I keep an eye on the boroughs we share a border with,” he added. “This season Camden improved from 25th to 15th. That is something I believe Islington can achieve in 2018 if we maximise the efforts of local secondary schools and clubs.

“A problem in Islington is getting more teenagers to attend extra curricular clubs, or pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. There a lot of people working on resolving that situation; GLL, Islington Sport, local schools and, of course, sports clubs.

“Hopefully we can see the evidence of that in improved borough sporting participation.”


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