YOUNG Croydon athletes are their celebrating success at the London Youth Games.
For nine months, the youths of Team Croydon competed against all 32 other London boroughs in the 2013 Balfour Beatty London Youth Games – part of the National School Games and the biggest sporting event in Europe for young people.
From November 2012 to July 2013, around 1,500 of Croydon's finest young sportspeople aged eight to 18, dedicated their time and talent to 70 sporting events – both in teams and individually – all across London.
Last weekend, Croydon took great pride as the final results were announced at the National Sports Stadium, Crystal Palace after the final two-day event.
Overall, with a score of 1,171, Croydon came second to Wandsworth which had a score of 1,189.
Robert Brown, Croydon's sports and physical activity manager, said: "This is one of those times where the overall position doesn't reflect the true success and achievements of those who took part and did such an amazing job representing Croydon."
Although they lost their first-place title from 2012, the youths of Team Croydon managed to win gold, silver or bronze medals in 13 sports competitions and finished in the top ten for 20 of the sports competitions. They also won more top places in individual events than any other borough.
Pearl Sethna, Croydon Council's sports development officer and Borough Team Organiser for Croydon, said: "We are really proud of everyone who took part in this year's games. To finish as the second best London borough and the best in Paralympic sports is a real achievement."
Councillor Sara Bashford, Croydon's board member on the Youth Games committee, said: "The performances over the final weekend were outstanding – particularly in such high temperatures.
"Every member of the team gave the event their all and given the strength of the opposition there is absolutely no loss of pride to be had from coming second."