Redbridge boys are volley good
PUBLISHED: 11:20 06 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:29 06 June 2013
Borough squad qualify for Youth Games finals
Redbridge’s boys volleyball team produced a superb display to qualify for the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games finals at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on July 6.
The qualifying rounds took place at Score Centre in Leyton, with many of London’s top young talent competing.
Team GB Olympians Elizabeth Reid and Peter and Dami Bakare all came through the London Youth Games system and Redbridge were the final team to qualify on the day.
A number of the team were involved in Chadwell Heath Academy’s under-16 National title win earlier this year and they battled past Haringey in their opening match.
Redbridge remained unbeaten in their group and faced surprise package Hounslow in the quarter-finals.
Hounslow got off to a good start and were soon 5-0 up, but Redbridge got back into the game and once they went ahead for the first time at 15-14 they never looked back.
Redbridge eventually ran out 25-16 winners with some very impressive offensive play and manager Jack Molyneux, who coached Chadwell Heath to glory, was impressed with his team’s form.
He said: “I’m really proud. We’ve got one or two boys on holiday so it was a tight run thing.
“They played really well and we’ve also got some boys from Year Nine playing up who did exceptionally well.
“Obviously the boys train hard all year for the national competition and that feeds into Redbridge. We’ve got a couple of boys from outside of Chadwell Heath playing in the Redbridge team, but the bulk of the team comes from Chadwell Heath and it really feeds in.
“They need to be focused for the whole match, hopefully we’ll have one or two more back by the time the finals come round and we’re looking forward to a really competitive finals this year.”
GB’s Peter Bakare, who represented Havering as a youngster, was an interested spectator at the weekend and said: “The London Youth Games is where I first started playing volleyball so it started me on my career path to playing pro and getting into the Olympics.
“It was a great experience because it was the first time I started playing when I played for Havering in the London Youth Games so it a real learning curve.”
“When I saw the type of people who were around and playing I thought, ‘Why not try and take it further and to a higher level and a little bit further?’
“One of the main things for coming here to the London Youth Games is don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that’s how you learn to get better.”
■ The London Youth Games is Europe’s largest annual youth sports event. A record 104,463 young Londoners took part in the 2012 London Youth Games.
The 2013 Games will be the biggest in history featuring 85 competitions across 33 sports and 27 event days, culminating in finals week at Crystal Palace in July where the overall winning borough are awarded the Jubilee Trophy.
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