Ben Bartram, the 14 year old wheelchair tennis player from Norwich has had a successful summer, travelling to tournaments in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the British wheelchair open in Nottingham.
In the junior world rankings out this week Ben has moved up to number 6 in the world. He also enjoyed some success in his first international men’s tournament, winning the B draw event.
On Sunday 11th August Wells TTC held it’s annual Mary Bircham doubles tournament and BBQ. Mary now deceased was an early member of the club and a driving force behind it’s development. All together 16 members entered and played a round robin in two groups. There followed semi-finals and a final the winners being Phil Glanfield and John O’Malley (a new member). The runners up Lynn Pigney and Cameron Raven.
The BBQ was enjoyed by other members and families, there was just one rain break but the wind played havoc.
Despite some incredibly close matches in both the Mens and Ladies events, Norfolk teams will be competing in lower divisions next year.
The Mens team were returning to Southsea, Portsmouth for the first time since 2003, when they were in Division 6! This year, Group 2 would prove too strong for a team in transition.
The Ladies were also in Division 2, being played in Manchester. Like the Men, they were also fielding a young squad with no fewer than 4 players still involved with junior tennis.
On Day 1, the Men suffered a 3-6 defeat to East of Scotland. In years gone by this would have been a devastating defeat but the Scots ended up gaining promotion by the end of the week. The Ladies pulled off a dramatic win against Cheshire, 5-4 with Amy Partridge ad Maddie Brooks winning all three of there matches. At 4-4, the decisive match was won by Sam Noble and Emily Barrett to clinch victory.
On Day 2 the Men put in a much better performance against Cheshire. The match score was 3-3 going into the last round, which unfortunately ended 4-5. The Ladies would suffer the same fate. In extremely hot conditions they were unable to continue the momentum of the first day and despite 2 wins for Maddie and Amy, lost 2-7 to Hampshire.
The Men were digging deep on wednesday with relegation fears started to increase. Again the guys were on the losing end of a 4-5 defeat, this time to Cambridgeshire. A 3-6 defeat to Leicestershire also meant that the Ladies were chasing one more victory to avoid relegation.
On Day 4 the Men faced Derbyshire and the Ladies were up against Lancashire. Maddie and Amy were again undefeated and leading from the front, as were Tom Fisher and Will Davies who won all three rubbers during the day. This would not be enough however, with both teams losing 4-5!
As a result the Men were relegated but the Ladies could stay up by beating Kent on the friday. It wasnt to be however with the team losing 4-5 once again. It was a really close affair for the Ladies who ended up being relegated by 1 rubber overall!
Congratulations and thank you to all of the following team members who played some superb tennis throughout the week: Sam Noble, Amy Partridge, Maddie Brooks, Emily Barrett, Rosie Pooley, Frances Evans, Eleanor Widdows, Alix Jermey, Will Foster, Johnnie Wynne, Dan Wynne, Alex Mcnaughton, Richard Bloomfield, Kris Jenkins, Will Davies, Nicky Crawley, Tom Fisher and Alex Watkinson.
Cromer Tennis Club, Titan Tennis Academy and Tennis Edge joined forces once again in aid of Cancer Research UK to bring a day packed full of junior tennis on Sunday 7th July 2019.
The weather was superb, the BBQ was on point and the level of tennis on show was exceptional. Titan Tennis brought 22 of its players from across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to Cromer to battle against an evenly matched Norfolk side.
From Under 9 up to Under 12s, the junior players competed on the fine grass courts of Cromer Tennis Club. Families turned up in their car loads to watch and support the players. The bar was open and the cakes and BBQ food were the perfect addition to a great family day out.
We had some very close battles with some matches going to sudden death tie breaks, players picked up ratings wins and above all had a thoroughly fun day.
Topspin Tennis were also in attendance, setting up their pop up shop and racket demo, they were joined by one of the UK’s Yonex Representative’s, bringing with him a jumbo sized Yonex racket which was a big hit with the youngest players!
Most importantly the day raised valuable funds for Cancer Research UK, all entry fees have been donated, along with Cromer Tennis Club kindly donating the proceeds from the BBQ to the charity also, raising over £500, which, combined with last year is a cumulative total of almost £2,000 raised. A fantastic achievement and everyone can’t wait to do it all again next year!
Currently the fastest growing sport in the world, Padel courts have recently been built at Heywood Sports club in Diss. Sitting on the boarder of Norfolk and Suffolk, Heywood’s courts are the first in both counties and also boast the very first Adidas Padel court to be built in the UK.
The courts were finished at the end of May and are now open to the public, prior to the club hosting a Grand Opening in August; following the complete refurbishment of their Tennis courts, 3G Five-a-Side football pitch and car parks.
Tom Bobbins, the owner of the club said, “We’re delighted to finally offer Padel at Heywood, after months of planning and hard work on the ground. What’s particularly exciting for us is the accessibility of the game; it’s so much easier to play than most other racket sports, particularly for children and more senior sports enthusiasts. With little or no experience, you’ll be able to enjoy a game with your friends or family. My five-year-old son took to it in a matter of minutes.”
Padel is a close relative of tennis. It is predominantly a doubles game (played by four people) on an enclosed court, a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is the same as Tennis and the balls used are very similar but have a little less ‘bounce’. The main differences are that balls can be played off the court walls (similar to Squash) and that the rackets are solid, consisting of a traditional frame filled with a dense foam – usually perforated with large holes.
The combination of a harder ball and solid racket results in increased control and a slower ball speed than Tennis. The enclosed courts encourage rallies to last much longer than those of a Tennis game: Padel bookings at Heywood are 90 minutes, to accommodate the time needed to comfortably conclude a match.
Invented in Acapulco (Mexico) by Enrique Corcuera in the 1960s, Padel was exported to the Costa Del Sol (Spain) in the early 1970s, where the first purpose-built courts were erected at the Marbella Club. It quickly blossomed and became popular in Hispanic countries, particularly Spain and Argentina, also flourishing on the Algarve in Portugal.
Padel is now played by over 10 million people worldwide, in 36 countries. There are now over 60 courts in the UK, double the number in 2018.
The sport was formerly adopted by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) only a few weeks ago, integrating British Padel into the organisation’s day-to-day operations. This is a significant development for Padel, not only recognising it as a legitimate sport in the UK, but also providing a huge platform for accelerated growth across the country.
There is now a very real possibility that Padel will be admitted into the Olympics for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
Andy Murray, the British tennis ace, recently made a significant investment in a Padel court company and is a major exponent of the game.
Premiership football celebrities have also recently added their voices to promote the game. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and former Chelsea and England captain John Terry are big fans of Padel. Most premiership football teams have Padel courts within their training facilities, including Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Tottenham and Manchester City, to name but a few.
To try your hand at Padel, contact Heywood by calling 01379 643 088 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The club can supply all the equipment you’ll need and Tom regularly arranges informal coaching ‘mixers’ for people to join a groups of players new to the game.