Overwhelming success for Meridian youngsters at London Youth Games

Performances praised by Bexley, Lewisham and Greenwich Borough officials

While the Tokyo Olympics were in full swing with Team GB inspiring us all over again, Meridian’s younger paddlers were busy racking up their own medal tally at the London Youth Games. Representing Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham, together they dominated the event at Fairlop Waters in Redbridge, taking home five gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

James Hurtt, Stephanie Whiting, Jack Higenbottam, Max Medley, Jessie Hurt and Arjun Malhotra stepped forward for Bexley while Arina Kontchako alone held this year’s mantle for Lewisham. Our own Amelia Lawrence, Aine Lawrence and Cuan Doherty competed for Greenwich and were joined by peers Inez Rice, Aidan Ward, Eva Atamer and Tom Ravenscroft. Drafted in from a local athletics club, a few sessions with Meridian and they were soon putting their athleticism to the water!

The London Youth Games has been a staple of local youth competition in paddle sport for decades. It has been widely enjoyed by hundreds of kids from across London and fondly remembered as a moment of focus, motivation and significance for many a young athlete who has since gone on to enjoy success in their paddling careers. After last year’s absence due to Covid-19, it was great to see the competition bounce back in full force!

Leading the teams were their coaches Malcom Blowers, Roman Kontchakov and Hilary and Peter Lawrence.

James Hurtt blazed through both the Senior Sprint and Senior Slalom to win gold for Bexley. Arina also triumphed for Lewisham in the Junior Sprint and Junior Slalom, followed closely in each discipline by Jessie Hurtt to take both silvers.

Amelia won silver and Tom bronze for Greenwich in the Junior Slalom, and both Tom and Eva won silvers in the Yr7-and-under Sprint.

Together, the kids took Bexley forward to win gold in the Team Slalom, and finished in a solid 5th place in the Team Sprint in which Greenwich rose to claim Bronze.

Huge congratulations to all the kids and coaches on their fantastic performance and well-deserved success, you’ve done all of us at Meridian very proud!

Read the News Shopper article here.