Four youngsters representing the Manchester United Foundation competed in the Fred Perry Table Tennis Urban Cup finals at London’s Business Design Centre on Saturday, finishing in 1st place.
In an initiative launched by the Premier League and Fred Perry that has seen 100,000 girls and boys aged 11-14 try table tennis over the past three months, the four young Manchester United supporters, Hal Dwobeng, Lars Cretier, Lamara Hines and Mia Pemberton reached the final 80 competitors in the country.
Hal Dwobeng said, "Table tennis is quite a new sport for me but I really enjoy it. Playing for United was a great experience, especially competing against people of a high standard. The day was great fun but at times nerve racking."
The tournament was split into a boys and girls section. For the boys’ title, Blackburn Rovers youngsters Jack Ellison and Adam Robinson edged out Manchester United boys Lars Cretier and Hal Dwobeng. In the girls’ division, Portsmouth’s Emma-Leigh Marlow and Jessica Boden were victorious, with Manchester United’s Mia Pemberton and Lamara Hines finishing second. In the overall combined boys and girls table, however, the Manchester United quartet was a class apart and took home the Fred Perry Urban Cup.
The Fred Perry Urban Cup, led by iconic sports fashion label Fred Perry in partnership with the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) programme, the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) and Sport England’s Sportsmatch initiative, saw all 20 Premier League clubs link with regional table tennis community clubs to encourage and inspire youngsters to get involved in table tennis.
Richard Martin, Head of Global Marketing at Fred Perry, said: “The Fred Perry Urban Cup has proven to be an enormous success in previous years, but with the new association with the Premier League now in place we have been able to take the competition to the next level. Engaging over 100,000 youngsters with the scheme this year is an incredible achievement.”