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Teen claims silver at Sport England Satellite Club Awards

Posted on 16 December 2015  - 09:00

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation project participant, Paul Demetriou, 15, from Enfield, has claimed second prize at Sport England’s National Satellite Club Participant Awards in recognition of his contribution and outstanding commitment to taking part in community sport.

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The award was presented at a ceremony held at the House of Commons by Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport and Tourism, and England Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE.

Paul is prone to injury having been diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) at the age of seven - but he hasn’t let this stop him from doing what he loves, playing sport.

He joined the Foundation’s Premier League 4 Sport table-tennis sessions which take place at Highlands School as part of Sport England’s Satellite Club initiative and has since demonstrated a talent for the sport.

Satellite Clubs are designed to engage young people who do not take part in regular physical activity or lack the confidence to join a sports club. The scheme offers opportunities for young people to get involved in sport by hosting sessions at easily accessible venues such as schools or colleges.

The Foundation runs 27 satellite clubs for 14-25 year olds across multiple venues in North London and Hertfordshire through its Premier League 4 Sport and Premier League Girls programmes. Participants can take part in sports ranging from basketball and boxing to football.

Accepting the award, Paul said: “This award shows what can be achieved if you apply your mind to something you are passionate about. Right from the beginning my coach has always encouraged me, and I would like to thank him and my family for their support. Although I still attend training weekly, I also have to concentrate on my studies. I was delighted to receive an A in my GCSE PE exam and I intend to study PE for my A-Levels. Thanks to Tottenham Hotspur and my coach, I have discovered something I can do for fun as well as get a qualification in.”

Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that Paul has been awarded second prize at this year’s National Satellite Club Awards. Despite the obstacles he has faced, Paul has continued to work hard and refused to let anything stand in his way of doing what he loves. Paul is an inspiration to all of us, demonstrating the positive impact sport can have on people’s lives.”

Sport England’s Director for Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said: “Paul should be very proud of his achievement. Thanks to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation satellite club, Paul has found a sport that’s right for him, and I commend him for the dedication he has shown.”

Minister for Sport and Tourism, Tracey Crouch MP, said: "Paul has shown incredible commitment to his sport. I am thrilled that Paul has been recognised for his brilliant achievements, he is proof that there is a sport out there for everyone."

Paul is one of almost 300,000 young people who have attended more than 7,400 satellite clubs across England since 2012. Two thirds of the young people benefiting from the clubs report that they would not be playing sport in their own time if it were not for their satellite club.