Ode To A Southfields Park Wins Prize for Local Schoolboy

Friends of Coronation Gardens wanted poems in praise of local green space

Zach receives his prize from the Mayor of London Jane Cooper
Zach receives his prize from the Mayor of London Jane Cooper

A public park in Southfields has been celebrated in style this spring with a range of sparkling entries to a poetry competition.

8-year-old Zach Medeiros has won the first prize in the competition run by the Friends of Coronation Gardens for local schoolchildren.

Entrants were asked to compose a poem of not more than 100 words in praise of the Gardens, on a theme of “How does Coronation Gardens affect your senses?”. Zach, a Year 3 pupil at Sheringdale Primary School, came out tops with the judges after they had considered over 20 entries. His effort had imaginatively listed the many benefits of park life using the first letters of the Garden’s name.

Zack won a £100 prize of Amazon vouchers, which were donated by the Coop Local Community Fund. He received it in the Gardens last Monday (17 May)in front of delighted parents and friends from the Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Jane Cooper.

“He spends a lot of his time in this green space, and even more so since lockdown”, explained his thrilled mother Erica Medieros.

“He recently moved schools from Riversdale to Sheringdale, so these Gardens have been such an important link between his two sets of schoolfriends. He loves reading, and also does a lot of performing arts”.

The winner was modest in victory. “It took me about 56 minutes to write, and I had a little bit of help from my Mum and Auntie”, said Zach.

What did he plan to do with his prize? “I plan to spend it on materials for my arts and crafts work. I do a lot of it at school, drawing comics and making things with my friends”.

Zach's winning poem

Head of the Friends’ judging panel Susannah Perry-Greene was delighted with the way the competition went. “Our idea was to involve local children in order that they could appreciate the Gardens after such a long lockdown. We’re thrilled by the response, and plan a summer arts competition along the same lines”.

The Friends of Coronation Gardens have recently celebrated the 2nd anniversary of their formation, working hard to improve the century-old park off Merton Road. They plan a number of events over the summer including an informal picnic on Saturday 3rd July from 12-3pm. Recent improvements have included new seating, noticeboard and a “bug hut” to encourage children to take an interest in the gardens. Zach’s mother had a final word for the organisers.

“Thanks to the Friends of Coronation Gardens for all the wonderful changes they’re helping to make to these Gardens”.

You can enjoy reading all the competition entries here.

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May 21, 2021

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