On Saturday 10th October at Easton College Tennis Centre, 2.00-4.00pm Norfolk LTA will be running an 8/U Talent ID sifting session.
We are looking for players that are born 2013 or later that have a desire and passion to represent Norfolk. Players need to have played and have an understanding of mini red tennis. All players are welcome to come along and enjoy the session.
We are keen to get as many players as possible to represent Norfolk at U8 level. If you would like to come along please sign up by using the link:
Look forward to seeing you on the court.
Neil Paskett (NLTA Teams Manager)
As tennis players we have been extremely fortunate to be able to play our sport since May, but organised inter-County competition has not been possible this summer.
Thoughts therefore turned to setting up a friendly match with one of our close neighbours to fill the competitive void. As the words “friendly” and “Suffolk” have never knowingly appeared in the same sentence, for Norfolk teams, it was the logical thing to ask our friends in Cambridgeshire if they wanted to have an informal match for seniors. The challenge was gladly accepted and players were readily recruited. The age range was a little wider than originally envisaged with the younger end hardly out of nappies and able to dress themselves (i.e. early 60s) and the older end hardly able to dress themselves due to advancing stiffness (i.e. over 70). However, everyone managed to arrive at Easton tennis centre on time, fully dressed, shoe laces tied and raring to go.
The format was similar to senior Inter-county, but with some changes to allow more players, and no singles rubbers. Each county had four pairs, split into “A” and “B” groups, so everyone had two rubbers each consisting of two sets with a match tiebreak if required at 1 set all.
As befits a friendly the final tally was 4 rubbers apiece, Cambs winning the “A” match 3-1 and Norfolk winning the “B” match by the same score. The tennis was competitive and played in an excellent spirit throughout. It was a real shame that the recently imposed “Rule of 6” prevented any socialising, but there was some opportunity for a decent, socially distant, chat between the rubbers.
Our thanks go to captain Rob for all the organisation and especially the staff at Easton Tennis Centre for agreeing to set up and manage everything in a Covid-safe way. We are hopeful of a return match in Cambridge fairly soon.
Norfolk Team: “A” Squad Mike Hutson & Keith Arnold, Robert Ollman (captain) & Richard Palmer. “B” Squad Mick Musson & Cris Gates, Alan Hudson & Doug Mace.
Norfolk v Cambs
The Norfolk Seniors County Closed is currently being held at Easton College Tennis Centre with events being played over the weekend of 12/13th and 19th/20th September.
In the Mens Over 45 category, Neil Henery (Cringleford Tennis Club) managed to claim the title. NLTA briefly spoke to Neil after his success:
- Who did you play throughout the draw at the weekend? We played a fast -four format, and I won my matches against Andy Ives and Roger Clarke, then beat Rob Hall in the final
- Do you play for Norfolk? How often do you play, what kind of matches, events? For the last few years I have played in the Norfolk over 45s team and over 55s. Over the course of a season we usually play 3-4 matches against other counties. There’s usually quite a lot of travelling involved, with the furthest away match I played being in Glasgow
- Do you have county training sessions for your county team? We try to meet up at Easton for some training sessions during the winter and spring. They have sometimes involved a mixed group of players from the over 45s and 55s.
- Are you a member at a club, if so which and do you play league tennis for them? I play regularly for Cringleford Tennis Club. It is a really friendly club and I have play for the B team in City League matches. A group of us also play at Easton over the winter to keep up our doubles play.
- Do you manage to play many tournaments? I always play in our Cringleford Club knock out tournament and have played in the Cromer Senior Tournament for several years – singles and doubles, plus occasionally playing the Norfolk Closed at Lime Tree Road.
- How long have you been playing tennis? What attracted you to the sport? I have been playing tennis since about the age of 8 or 9, but got invited to attend county coaching sessions after my twin brother, Paul, and I took part in a coaching scheme at Thorpe Grammar School when I was about 11 or 12. Tennis was the perfect sport for Paul and I as we were of a similar ability and either played on the quiet-ish road where we lived in Loddon or went up to the local courts. I think my Dad got us into tennis in the first place so we wouldn’t pester him on the golf course – he was a very keen golfer!
Congratulations Neil and thanks for finding a trophy for the purposes of the photo!!
On Saturday three Norfolk U/14 boys & girls travelled to Corby for the rearranged 12 Counties event. Playing on the outdoor courts, in sunny and breezy conditions the team got off to a great start defeating Leicestershire 5-1.
The second tie was against Berkshire who had also won their first fixture, our guys continued their good form with a clean sweep 6-0 victory.
Going into the last tie versus Northamptonshire, the talk was to keep focused and finish the job off. The team responded brilliantly to produce another 5-1 victory and claim top spot in the group.
A successful day for all, after a break without competition.
TEAM: Oliver Buckingham Green, Luie Valentine, Joseph Philpott, Isabella Taylor, Ruby Syer, Darcy Jarmy.
Report: Nicky Crawley (Capt)
Ben Collingwood, Coach to Alfie Hewett reflects on his US Open experience:
Being inside the bubble for the first tournament back for the ITF Wheelchair tour since the global pandemic, was a once in a lifetime experience. The US Open had all it’s procedures in place to provide a safe and exciting opportunity to bring the best players from around the world to compete for the title.
When myself and Alfie arrived at the hotel we were immediately taken for a Covid-19 test and had to quarantine within our individual rooms until the result came back negative, this took 29 hours. Once the result came back, we were able to travel to the site and get a feel for what the organisation was like this year and also get on the practice courts.
The tournament staff were all included in the bubble so the organisation of the event was water tight to restrict anyone coming in and out of the area. We traveled to and from the site via coaches practicing social distancing by not allowing people to sit next to each other. There were more areas which the USTA had taken precautions; live Hawkeye systems apart from the 2 stadium courts, QR code cafeteria where food was always delivered in takeaway boxes, each seeded player or past champion would get a corporate suite for the week and limitations to the locker rooms.
We also had to take a COVID-19 test every two days, we ended up taking 4 tests during a 8 day period. If one of us would test positive Alfie would be pulled out of the tournament.
As you all would have seen that this was the first tournament back for the wheelchair players since we were sent home from Georgia USA on March 12th. So the expectations of level of tennis was always unknown for all players.
However, Alfie Hewett from coming off a 15 week training block, working at Gorleston Tennis Club, Easton Tennis Centre and David Lloyd Norwich came out strong in his first match against fellow Brit and doubles partner Gordon Reid.
Alfie was then able to follow this up with a 3rd set win over Gustavo Fernandez (world No.2) in the semi finals to set up the final against world No.1 Shingo Kunieda.
As you may have seen, the final was an instant classic for the fans to watch as Alfie found himself 0-2 down in the second set to find a way to win the set 6-3 and again he was 1-4 down and pulled it back to 6-5 in the 3rd. Alfie didn’t quite make it in the tie break however, he showed unbelievable character and heart to claw his way into the match, I hope lots of our Norfolk juniors were watching and learned that you are never out of a match until the final point has been played.
On a whole, we had a very successful week as this will be the only time in each players careers where they won’t be match tight and not been able to compete for 6 months, Alfie takes home the doubles trophy for the 4th time in a row and the R/U singles trophy. We as a team are very proud of his efforts this week and acted like a true champion. Sometimes in sport matches don’t go your way, it’s how you react to these situations that reveal who you really are.
We now head back Norfolk to prepare for the “New” clay season, French Rivera and then the rescheduled Roland Garros. This means Alfie will be straight back on court with me and Coach Donna Andrews, the other critical member of our team.