A HOT-SHOT table tennis player from Clacton took top honours at the Essex regional final of the Jack Petchey London and Essex Schools Singles Championships.

It was run in partnership with Table Tennis England and held at Batts Table Tennis Centre, in Harlow.

Celebrating its tenth year, the event attracted 69 players from 29 schools across Essex.

Age ranges included boys and girls in under-12, under-14, under-16 and under-19 categories.

The under-16 boys' event was won by Daniel Young, from Clacton Coastal Academy.

In the final, the 16-year-old beat Liam Harris, from Tendring Technology College, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.

Young lost one of his matches and went through to the final on countback.

In one match, he was 9-4 down but focused and went on to win.

Young started playing seven years ago against his dad, who is a strong and competitive player.

He said: “This was a good standard and although I won last year, I wasn’t sure I could do it again.

"I'm really pleased and can’t wait for the final.”

Ranked 38 nationally at under-16, Young is mindful that he must concentrate on his GCSEs this year although, ultimately, he wants to play for England at senior level.

Mum Janet said: “It all started with a table at home and a great coach, who taught Daniel how to enjoy the games.

"His dad is very good. This is a family affair which we are all enjoying.”

The winners of the regional competitions progress to the Jack Petchey London and Essex Schools' Singles Championships final, being held on April 4 in the Sports Dock at the University of East London.

The Jack Petchey Table Tennis programme includes competition opportunities through the schools via team and individual championships, with progression to the grand finals.

Over 6,000 students have played in competitions during the last year and over 76,000 schoolchildren have been directly impacted by the scheme since it started ten years ago.

Over 100 tables have been donated to schools and youth clubs this year with an estimated impact of over 20,000 individuals.