A new sport on the competition calendar for Primary Schools has caused a stir in the Dales when four girls from a tiny village school in the Dales were runners up in the first ever County Primary School Table Tennis Championships last week.
The four year 5&6 girls from Kirk Ireton Primary School were up against schools with strong links to table tennis clubs from North Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Derby City.
Class teacher at Kirk Ireton Primary, Wendy Smith explained that the girls became interested in table tennis after trying it in PE lessons last year and more recently during an after school club set up and run by a governor at the School. The tiny school which has no designated indoor PE facilities encourages pupil’s to play table tennis in their classroom using several desks pushed together with a piece of strong cardboard to act as a net. Wendy said: “I am so proud of them; they worked really hard, thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the competition in Chesterfield and loved playing on proper sized tables instead of desks”
Janice Price, Manager of the School Sport Partnership who was responsible for running the qualifying competition which the girls won to earn their place in the final said, “It just shows that where you have an environment that nurtures talent and enthusiasm for a sport you can achieve success. I hope this will inspire other pupils and small schools to take up table tennis”
It seems the drive for table tennis at Kirk Ireton is most definitely on the up, as a fellow pupil in the same class as the girls, Francis Camis-Lowe is also celebrating success in a National poster competition organised by Babcock Engineering. His winning design chosen from hundreds of entries is to be made into a national safety poster for shops. His prize money of £150 is being used to buy none other than a table tennis table!
With the Christmas holidays looming, I think Francis may suddenly find himself inundated by friends in the village wanting to help him celebrate his recent success!