Young tennis players were dreaming of Wimbledon Centre Court when they visited Martock Tennis Club for the South Somerset Schools’ Mini Red Tennis Red Final on Thursday 25 June.
The competition was the culmination of a long journey to get to the final with hundreds of young people from South Somerset taking part in ‘cluster’ competitions over the last two months.
Primary school pupils from eleven primary schools: Huish (Yeovil), Ash (Martock), Wincanton, Norton Sub Hamdon, Charlton Mackerel, St Bartholomews (Crewkerne), Buckland St Mary, Queen Camel, Keinton Mandeville, East Coker and Abbas & Templecombe took part in the finals. Norton Sub Hamdon won the final, beating St Bartholomew’s primary school by four points, 48-44.
The project has been funded by the South Somerset Tennis Development Group, which administered by the Sports Development team at South Somerset District Council.
South Somerset School Games Organiser, Steve Gass, delivered the final event. Steve said, “The cluster competitions have been really successful with some exciting tennis being played. The weather was perfect and taking place just before Wimbledon inspired all the young people. We were really pleased with how the competition went. A special thank you must also find its way to Stanchester Academy who supported the event with their Young Leaders.”
Jake Hannis, Senior Sport and Healthy Lifestyles Officer at South Somerset District Council said, “Local professional tennis coaches have been leading sessions in schools right across South Somerset for hundreds of pupils to introduce them to the sport.
“More than one hundred pupils who showed enthusiasm and ability were then given the chance to take part in five weeks of coaching, which has really developed their skills.”
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council added, “This is the seventh year of the successful programme in South Somerset and it is certainly making a difference towards developing young tennis talent in the district. The group has achieved an impressive amount since it was set up, and its benefits are long lasting.
“I hope that many of the young people who have been involved in the coaching and competitions will take up the opportunities on offer at their local clubs to develop themselves even further.”
Photo: Winners of the South Somerset Mini Red Tennis Finals, Norton Sub Hamdon Primary School.