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On Friday 16 February, London City Airport hosted a Doubles Badminton Tournament, where Airport staff challenged students from the Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy (EYLA).  The challenge was too big for the Airport team, who gracefully accepted defeat as the tournament concluded with an all EYLA final.  Students Karmal Imafidon aged 10 and Michael Weekes aged 17 of EYLA played hard to win the tournament trophy.

The tournament was very competitive, with all players keen to win first position.  The standard of play was very high and fast, no allowances were made for poor serves, which cost some teams the match.

Elizabeth Hegarty, Community Relations Manager for London City Airport, was relieved to be a spectator when watching the final rounds: “The Doubles Badminton Tournament was a great success, despite some of the older competitors feeling a little tired by the end of the day, it was enjoyed by everyone. 

“London City Airport is a keen supporter of EYLA and we were only too happy to help support their half-term programme.  The reason we decided on a sporting activity was to encourage health and fitness and team spirit.  For many it was also character building as they showed sheer determination to win.”

EYLA provides educational and behavioural support to African and Caribbean boys from the age of eight through to eighteen, especially those ‘at risk’ of social exclusion.  In addition the Academy seeks to develop the leadership potential of these young males, empowering them to improve the quality of their lives and assist them in becoming productive citizens.  The objective is for these boys to become positive role models in their schools, communities and consequently go on to be men of influence in all fields.

Ray Lewis, Founder/Director of EYLA said: “The tournament was great and I know the Young Leaders enjoyed themselves.  I would like to thank London City Airport and their staff for their continued support.  I’m not sure what London City will do next but I know the Young Leaders will already be looking forward to it.”

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