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Team Ealing badminton at Better Club Games 2018

Ace showing by Team Ealing at London games

A pair of Perivale short tennis players led the way as a team of over 55-year-olds from the borough competed against others from across the capital recently in the 2018 Better Club Games.

Ealing's short tennis champs Pamela and Eddie receiving their trophy
Ealing’s short tennis champs Pamela and Eddie receiving their trophy

Pamela Comley and Eddie Gharakanian won every game they played as they retained the short tennis doubles crown at the event, held at the Copper Box Arena (one of the venues at London 2012 Olympics). They, and another pairing Kulwant Aris and Peter Cavill, were selected to represent the borough in the sport and all four came from Perivale Community Centre’s  senior short tennis group. We went to visit them earlier in the year and you can read more about them here.

In total, 700 people competed at the games this month across 11 different sports in an Olympic-style event for over 55-year-olds.

The sports were: Walking football, walking netball, badminton, short tennis, table tennis, darts, short mat bowls, timed cycle, timed swim, walking football and dominoes.

Good achievement

Team Ealing finished a creditable eighth overall in the ‘medals table’, out of 22 teams. As well as Pamela and Eddie winning the short tennis, Kulwant and Peter got eighth; while other team members finished joint-third and seventh in badminton, fourth in dominoes and fifth in swimming. Greenwich finished first in the final games table.

Former WBC World Light-Heavyweight Champion John Conteh MBE was the guest of honour and opened the games, while Team GB runner and multiple gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton also dropped in.

Team Ealing at the Copper Box Arena
Team Ealing at the Copper Box Arena

Team Ealing is pulled together by one of Ealing Council’s partners, Better (or GLL), which runs a number of the council’s leisure centres.

Maximilian Goodchild, GLL’s community sports manager, said: “Our Better Ealing Club Games team is made up of our leisure centre users. Anyone is encouraged to take part in a range of sports form badminton to dominoes. Ealing’s team has gone from strength to strength and is very pleased with its eighth place finish against 22 other London boroughs. The club games is a great opportunity for all members of the community to participate at The Copper Box Arena and the London Aquatics Centre and we hope to have more taking part next year.”

Lots of activities for the over-55s

Local leisure centres run a wide range of popular sessions for people aged 50 and above. It is a great way to get active and make new friends.

You do not even have to be ‘sporty’. Even if you have not taken part in any sport or exercise before, it is never too late. Local leisure centres run activities to suit everyone – whatever your ability. Visit www.ealing.gov.uk/sports to find out more.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure, said: “We know that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds – and these sessions are a fantastic opportunity for people to become more physically active while also meeting new people and socialising.

“It can even lead to people getting involved in Team Ealing at the Better Club Games and I’m really proud our competitors performed so well this year and got eighth place – one of our highest ever finishes.”


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