Hockey star Phoebe Redding showed nerves of steel to save a penalty flick and help Wandsworth retain the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Jubilee Trophy in record-breaking fashion.
The 16-year-old goalkeeper, who bids farewell to the Games after two years of competition, made a match-winning save as Wandsworth’s girls retained their hockey title against Hammersmith & Fulham – one of six titles the borough won throughout the entire 2014 London Youth Games.
Wandsworth finished with 1,193 points – a best-ever total at the Games – to secure the Jubilee Trophy once again, which was presented by four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott.
Redding, who lives in Balham, said her efforts at the finals weekend of Europe’s largest annual youth sports event at Crystal Palace have her looking forward to an exciting future in the sport.
“I was really pleased to save the flick for the win but can’t really remember what happened after their girl stepped up to take it,” said Redding.
“It went really quickly and I just dived in hope but thankfully managed to get down and block the ball.
“I was nervous about losing our title, especially having won the competition the last two years in a row.
“It was a very anxious final and we should have scored a goal to win it in normal time.
“I’m going to trials for Surrey this summer so hopefully I’ll be able to make that step-up and I plan to play more at school too.
“This is my last year at the Youth Games and I really enjoyed playing with a different team than the one I play with every week.”
Both Wandsworth’s male and female volleyball teams stormed to gold on finals weekend, with victories over Haringey, while the boys’ hockey team also did the borough proud after beating Bromley in their final.
And borough organiser Peter Freeman insisted every single team and individual had a part to play in an unprecedented year for the borough at the Games.
“It feels fantastic to defend our title and also to win with a record points haul,” he said.
“It’s a lot of hard work to run the team so it’s great to get to finals weekend and have that work pay off.
“We’ve been really consistent throughout the whole year and capped it off with a very strong weekend.
“I don’t know exactly what about Wandsworth makes us great at the Youth Games. I think it’s a combination of a very sports development team and then a lot of fantastic coaches who prepare the kids brilliantly.”
The London boroughs and Balfour Beatty invest in the London Youth Games to build stronger communities through competitive sport.