Tennis has a smashing future in South Somerset

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 19 June.

South Somerset Tennis
The competition was the end 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: Preston, St Margaret’s (Tintinhull), Our Lady’s (Wincanton), Horsington, High Ham, St Bartholomews, Hambridge, West Chinnock, Keinton Mandeville, East Coker and Abbas & Templecombe took part in the finals.

The final was won by St Barthlomews school who beat West Chinnock by four games to two, while last year’s county winners High Ham finished in 3rd place.

South Somerset Tennis
The project has been funded by the South Somerset Tennis Development Group, which is administered by the Sports Development team at South Somerset District Council.

South Somerset School Games Organiser, Steve Gass, who organised the final event in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association, said, “The cluster competitions have been really successful with some exciting tennis on display.

“The weather was perfect for the final and the young people seemed really inspired with the competition taking place just before Wimbledon. We were really pleased with how the competition went and a special thank you must find its way to Stanchester Academy, who supported the event with 12 exceptional Young Leaders.”

St Barts Winners 2014 South Somerset Tennis Development
Jake Hannis, Senior Sport and Healthy Lifestyles Officer at South Somerset District Council explained more about the build up to the final, “Local professional tennis coaches have been leading sessions in schools right across South Somerset for hundreds of pupils to introduce them to the sport.

“Following these sessions, more than 100 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.”

Cllr Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council added, “This is the sixth 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.”

South Somerset Tennis Group 2014