25 Mar 13

NewVIc College win EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge Final

NewVIc Sixth Form College triumphed as schools and colleges from across East London came together for the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge Final.

Some 60 students took part in the final, at the Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre. (Thurs Mar 21)

And they got the chance to meet double European gold medallist and Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton, who answered questions from the youngsters and presented some of the medals.

Students from Leyton Sixth Form College, Newham College, NewVIc Sixth Form College in Plaistow, Barking and Dagenham College, Hackney Community College and Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Redcoat School in Stepney, took part.

Perri Shakes-Drayton, who won gold in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the European Championships in Sweden earlier this month, presented medals and spoke with the youngsters, aged 16-18 years old.

NewVIc College won the overall challenge after winning four of the five events: 60m, long jump, shot putt and 4x200m relay. Leyton College won the 800m. For the overall winner, performances at the final were added to points gained through the four month training programme, based on areas like students' positive attitude, commitment and improvement. Outstanding student awards were also presented to each college.

Supported by EDF Energy, the youngsters have been working with professional coaches from the Team Falola Trust, with training programmes designed to boost their commitment and performance in sport and their studies.

Tim Boylin, EDF Energy’s HR Director, was at the challenge final and congratulated all the competitors.

He said: “The students were brilliant. They can all be proud of how well they’ve done. It’s great to see EDF Energy, the Team Falola Trust and the colleges all working together to give these youngsters the chance to develop. I was impressed to see just how committed the students were.”

Former 400m specialist and Olympian Donna Fraser, who works at EDF Energy, has been part of the team supporting the youngsters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Fraser

She said: “It was wonderful to see all the hard work of the students, coaches and everyone involved in the challenge pay off. EDF Energy has various sport and educational programmes to inspire youngsters in London and we’re delighted with the success of the athletics challenge. I'm sure the confidence and determination built up through the challenge will stand all those involved in good stead for the future."

Working with the Team Falola Trust, youngsters have been receiving top class coaching to improve their commitment and performance, developing valuable life skills and also exploring career opportunities within the energy industry. At the final, students got the chance to talk with EDF Energy apprentices and graduates and get careers information.

Michael Adekunle, 19, won the 800m and is studying maths, further maths and philosophy at A-level at Leyton College.

He said: “I was shattered but delighted to win. I didn’t have a game plan except get in front early and with just 100m to go I had energy left to sprint. The EDF Energy Challenge has been great – with the coaches coming down to the college and giving us their time and support. It’s made me fitter, a better athlete and more determined.”

David Ajayi, 18, is studying sports science BTEC level 3 at New Vic Sixth Form College. He won the 60m and was part of the winning relay team and overall challenge winners.

He said: “My game plan was to do it for my school and for myself. I wanted to make my school proud. That was my motivation. I’ve been running for almost five years. I’m a sprinter and the challenge has helped take it on to another level. It’s been brilliant.”

Team Falola Trust promotes athletics through grassroots programmes, education and corporate partners. Educational programmes aim to attract youngsters to the sport through inspiring and motivational means. The trust also supports up and coming athletes.

Ayo Falola said: "There were some tough times in the training over the winter months but it's certainly paid off, with some great performances across all five events in the final. I'm proud of what these youngsters have achieved in just a few months. I'm sure many of them will continue to pursue their love of athletics for years to come."


EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge Final

1 NewVIc Sixth Form College

2 Hackney Community College

3 Sir John Cass Foundation School


1 Michael Adekunle, Leyton Sixth Form College

2 Omar Said, Sir John Cass Foundation School

3 Francisco Fernandes, Hackney Community College


1 David Ajayi, NewVIc Sixth Form College

2 Osvaldo Gloria, NewVIc Sixth Form College

3 Aniska Murray, Hackney Community College

Long jump

1 Osvaldo Gloria, NewVIc Sixth Form College

2 Maiden Brown, Sir John Cass School

3 Connor Ives, Leyton Sixth Form College

Shot putt

1 Lorrianne Da Silva, NewVIc Sixth Form College

2 Teddy Nur, Barking and Dagenham College

3 KC Raphael, Leyton Sixth Form College

4x200m Relay

1 NewVIc Sixth Form College

2 Leyton Sixth Form College

3 Hackney Community College