For years now Laleham Gap school has been known for its ping pong prowess. It has had Olympic and Paralympic heroes from the sport to inspire the pupils. Although with an enthusiastic coach, Mr. Ursell – AKA ‘Ping Pong Paul,’ running three clubs a week (in Primary, Secondary and even for staff) the sport flourishes with or without outside support.
With National Table Tennis Day taking place so late (July 18th) the school decided to go early with its big celebratory events, this week having a Staff v Pupils extravaganza in Primary on one day and in Secondary the next.
“This year the competition was fierce” explained Mr Ursell. “ Staff here are marvellous and across the school we played 112 matches, with staff generously giving up their time. The pupils loved it and the sporting nature of the events was epitomised with a handshake at the end of all 112 matches.”
In Primary pupils held on to the trophy with a very convincing 31: 17 victory. In Secondary things were much tighter. After 64 matches there was only 2 in it with the pupils sneaking it by 30 to 32!
You might think after such hectic activity Mr Ursell would be easing down with ping pong. On the contrary as National Table Tennis Day fast approaches these are by no means the final events for the school this year. The pupils are currently battling it out over the next few weeks for School Champion in both Primary and Secondary. And with trophies for Effort and Achievement still to be won in Primary, Secondary and even among staff much is still to play before before the end of year assembly when medals and trophies will be given out.