Team Croydon’s Para athletes have proven themselves to be the best in the capital, winning London Youth Games’ Paragames Trophy.
Athletes from across the borough who competed in Paragames football, Paragames swimming, Paragames athletics and Boccia, were at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Sunday (7 July) to collect their trophy.
The Paragames boys’ athletics team won gold, Croydon’s Boccia team picked up a silver medal while the Paragames girls’ athletics team bagged a bronze.
Thirteen-year-old Chloe, who played Paragames football, won silver in the Paragames swimming (finishing less than half a second behind the gold medallist) and competed in the indoor rowing, said: “I’ve enjoyed the London the Youth Games. I’ve liked the chance to be able to try my best at these sports, it’s been really good.
“I hope I can be involved next year.”
Godwin Uchendu, 14, competed for Team Croydon in the Paragames athletics – taking part in the 200m and javelin competitions. He said: “I’ve enjoyed it. It was a bit scary being on the stage but in the end it was a good feeling.
“If people want to do it they should do it – it’s made me feel more confident as well.”
The London Youth Games calendar runs from November to July, finishing with a festival of sport at Crystal Palace. In the open competitions over the weekend (6-7 July) Team Croydon’s swimmers picked up a number of individual gold medals and an overall second place in the girls, boys and minis categories. Inside the stadium there were successes too – with gold medals in both the boys and girls high jump.
Croydon’s netball team also won gold, in a hotly-contested final against Ealing, while Croydon’s basketball team won the Jimmy Rogers Respect the Games trophy for their behaviour and sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
In the Jubilee Games Trophy, which is the overall standings for all open and Para competitions, Croydon finished in 10th place with 1010 points. Bromley won with 1275 points.
“Congratulations to our Para athletes – to be the best of all London boroughs in disability sports is a wonderful achievement.
“I’m also so proud of everyone who has taken part in the games. Every athlete representing Croydon has done so well – they are an inspiration to so many. I hope they continue to take part in the games and other sporting competitions and I look forward to cheering them on again soon.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Croydon’s Paragames team is supported by SEN schools and the RAP scheme, which are sports courses for children and young people with disabilities or additional needs. The RAP scheme focuses on physical and social development and celebrates all achievements while encouraging the progression of sport from grassroots through to excellence. For more information on inclusive sport in Croydon visit www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/sports/inclusive-sports-programme