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Children at Wapping mini-clubs enter the Neighbourhood Games

Children at Wapping mini-clubs enter the Neighbourhood Games

The Wapping Wizards and Shadwell Sting Rays are two of the 32 Tower Hamlets mini-clubs taking part in the 2011 Winter Neighbourhood Games on 20th April 2011.

Mini-clubs are all about “bringing kids together from different schools, ages and backgrounds to play sports and have fun together” says Wapping resident coach Rumi Begum.

Hundreds of children from years three to six will meet at the giant Play on Sports Indoor Arena at Canary Wharf on 20th April. Sports at the Neighbourhood Games include football, basketball, hockey, squash, gymnastics, fencing, judo, boxing and tag-rugby.

Wapping Wizards and Shadwell Sting Rays

Last week we watched the children playing sports together at our local mini-clubs and found out how more of Wapping’s children can get involved.

“We get to play different kinds of sports and make new friends. We have lots of fun” said nine year old Fahin Faruk before running off to kick a football.

Image Mini_Clubs_FootballThe mini-clubs offer a rare opportunity to “run around outside”, which seven year old Urvesh Bogun told us was his favourite thing about going each week.

Mini-club leaders and coaches

Image Mazada BegumWhen we asked 11 year old Walid Fekhar what he liked most about the Shadwell Sting Rays mini-club he told us, “The teachers of course!”.

Mazada Begum is a second year geography student at Kings College and leader of the Shadwell Sting Rays who meet in King Edward Memorial Park. She’s been a coach for four years and loves “seeing children from different schools coming together and having fun playing sports without any rivalry”.

“Doing sports outside of a school environment is one of the things that makes children more likely to continue after they leave” said Mazada, who added “there’s no pressure on the children to be good at every sport, no one is. There are so many sports and everyone just has fun”.

Sadly, Thames Water’s proposed plans to use King Edward Memorial Park as a supersewer construction site would put the park out of use. The mini-club “wouldn’t have anywhere else to go” said Limehouse resident coach Brogan McGuinness.

“We would have to stop, as there just isn’t anywhere around here with the space where the mini-club could go”.

Image Jack FordAbout mini-clubs

The 32 mini-clubs and coaches in Tower Hamlets are managed by Jack Ford.

When we met at John Orwell Sports Centre, Jack was playing an energetic game of hockey with the Wapping Wizards and told us “I try to take part and visit as many mini-clubs as I can”.

Jack, pictured here with Wapping Wizard coaches Husna Begum and Iffath Nowrin.

Joining a mini-club

Image mini-club friendsChildren often join the nearest club to school or home, but arrangements are flexible and the aim is simply to play sport and have fun in a relaxed environment.

Wapping Wizards

4pm – 5pm every Monday at John Orwell Sports Centre, Wapping

Shadwell Sting Rays

Meet either at 10am outside Bishop Challoner school or in King Edward Memorial Park at 10.20am every Saturday. Finishes at 12pm.

For more information or questions about any of the Tower Hamlets mini-clubs please call Jack Ford on 0781 753 8466 or email jford.lps@gmail.com.

20th April 2011 Winter Neighbourhood Games

Support the Wapping Wizards and Shadwell Sing Rays at the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Games from 10am – 3pm on 20th April at Play on Sports Indoor Arena, 100 Preston Road, Wood Wharf, E14 9SB [view/print pdf flyer].

Image Shadwell Sting Rays Group

All photos by Wapping photographer Mark Baynes www.Baynes.co.uk

Spread the Wapping word about mini-clubs

Please let parents and children in Wapping know what brilliant, fun and free opportunities the mini-clubs are to play sports, get outdoors and make new friends.

If you use Twitter or Facebook, please help the mini-clubs by sharing the link and letting others know.