​The Dedanists' Foundation

We are a grant-giving charity (No. 1145526) created with the sole aim of increasing youth involvement in Real Tennis. Our game has too few young players and our aim is to get young people impassioned about our sport and to harness the enthusiasm, knowledge and skills of the games professionals and its clubs.

 

If you would like to support us, please contact David Mills or Roger Pilgrim. Alternatively you can donate by visiting our donations page.

COVID-19 UPDATEOur Good Work Continues

All UK Real Tennis courts are now open again and tennis is once more being played in a covid-safe environment. The Dedanists’ Foundation is delighted to announce 3 recent grants that have been made to The Hyde Club, the Investing in Professionals programme and supporting 2 young professionals.

Latest news .....

The Hyde

The Dedanists' Foundation has awarded £500 to the club to help with the recruiting and coaching of juniors. £5000 has also been donated to help them buy the club from their current landlord.

 

Investing in Professionals

A grant of £4000 has been made towards the funding of this programme.

Support for Young Professionals

We have commited to a one year package to help young professionals at the Oratory and Jesmond Dene

See below for further details on these new initiatives

 

The Hyde Club

The Dedanists’ Foundation has awarded The Hyde Real Tennis Club a £500 cash grant for recruiting and coaching juniors. Many of these juniors will be state school pupils. This grant money may be used for almost anything that would help to recruit and coach more juniors. The DF wants the club to be properly paid for the work that is done by Stephen Grier who coaching juniors at the club. Our objective is that he should be able to develop and maintain a thriving and self-perpetuating junior club with up to 20 or so members and a strong sense of identity. We hope and expect to increase our grant funding over future years to help you to achieve this.

The Dedanists’ Foundation has also donated £5000 to the Hyde Real Tennis Club’s fund for purchasing the court from their landlord, the West Dorset Sports Trust. Our position is “No court – No junior tennis!”. The club’s purchase of the court secures its long term future and therefore it’s long term capacity to recruit new young players from the local community, especially state schools. The successful purchase was completed in September 2020.

Investing In Professionals

The Dedanists’ Foundation has agreed to make a £4000 grant towards the funding of the IiP programme. This programme offers new trainees and existing young professionals a highly professional educational environment in order to develop a meaningful career in Real Tennis. In tandem with court training and court-related skills, the programme offers learning and training in the business skills relevant to becoming an accredited Real Tennis professional or to manage a sports facility. Emphasising the inclusive objectives of IiP it encourages all new trainees to join the programme as Apprentices. Access to the programme can be made through a number of entry paths depending on the age and training already undertaken by the individual trainee. Existing trainee professionals are also encouraged to join the programme to in-fill any skills they require to achieve accreditation.

Support for Young Professionals 

The Dedanists’ Foundation has agreed to commit to a one-year package of financial support for the Oratory and Jesmond Dene Real Tennis clubs. We have awarded £1500 to each club to enhance the remuneration package of their young professionals and for the development of their junior Real Tennis sections. This will be done in partnership with the T&RA and The Dedanists’ Society

Professional Apprentice & Training Initiatives

Our game needs to recruit more young players to become real tennis professionals.  The Dedanists’ Foundation, together with the Dedanists’ Society and the T&RA, is working with two clubs on new initiatives to meet this challenge.

At Cambridge, three school leavers are doing a six month, gap year apprenticeship to give them direct experience of the work of a real tennis professional and to encourage them to choose this as a career.  They have attended the one day, train-the-trainer workshop on how to recruit and retain juniors that is run by Dan Jones and Paul Weaver at Wellington.  They have worked for a week at Seacourt to experience how other clubs operate.

At Middlesex, a recent graduate, Josh King, is working part time as a trainee professional on the basis that the club professionals provide the training and the Dedanists’ Foundation, together with the Society and the T&RA, provide Josh with sufficient income.

We hope that these initiatives will provide a blueprint for other clubs to follow.

GAP Year Apprentices working at Seacourt

The Dedanists' Foundation together with the Dedanists Society and the T&RA are supporting an important new initiative taking place at the Cambridge club. The objective is to support 2 youngsters whilst they are given a 6 month insight into life as a Real Tennis professional with a view to them choosing this as a career. Currently the game is suffering a shortfall in the number of young players seeking to become professionals. It is hoped that if this initiative is successful it could become a blueprint for similar schemes at other clubs.

The 2 youngsters taking part in the scheme are Jim Ludekens and Andrew Barker. As part of the scheme and to widen their knowledge about Real Tennis clubs they have just spent a week at Seacourt where they worked alongside top professional Andrew Lyons.

Their week at Seacourt gave them an insight into how another club is run and gave them plenty of opportunity to see the Seacourt approach to coaching junior players. Seacourt were running their usual half term Sports Club which includes Lawn Tennis, Padel, Badminton and Squash as well as Real Tennis. As part of their workload, Jim & Andrew joined in with the management of this club which is open to all youngsters living on Hayling Island.

They both enjoyed their Seacourt experience and felt that they had learned many things that would be useful in possible future careers as a Real Tennis professional.

The British U18 Junior Handicap Tournament 2019

Sponsored by The Dedanists' Foundation

The National U18 Handicap Singles Tournament took place at Wellington College over the weekend of 14th/15th December and was sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation. There was a very large entry this year including 8 girls and as a result, the very early rounds had to take place on Friday evening. There were large contingents from Wellington and Seacourt but many other clubs were also represented.

The “B” grade event for players with a handicap of over 75 included some excellent matches which resulted in a final between Henry Weekes (RTC) and Fergus Thomson (Wellington). A very close match ended with a win for Henry 6/5.

The “A” Grade for the lower handicap players was just as close. There were many great performances but special mention goes to Max Trueman (Seacourt) who overcame huge handicaps to notch up 3 wins. However, the 4 juniors that progressed to the semi-finals were Alex Machin (Wellington), Toby Barton (Wellington), Ross Morrison (RTC) and Hugo Pennant (Wellington).

Comfortable wins for Toby and Hugo saw them through to a thrilling final. In a one set, first to eight match, Hugo got to 7-5 up before Toby clawed his way back to win 8-7. The trophy was presented by Paul Weaver who is a Dedanists’ Foundation Ambassador and T&RA Director of Junior Tennis.

 The Dedanists’ Foundation were delighted with the number of entries and particularly by the high proportion of girls playing. Dan Jones & Adam Player marked superbly throughout and the event was well attended by parents and supporters of the young players.

Gap Year Assistant Professionals Initiative

The Dedanists' Foundation together with the Dedanists Society and the T&RA are supporting an important new initiative taking place at the Cambridge club. The objective is to support 3 youngsters whilst they are given a 6 month insight into life as a Real Tennis professional with a view to them choosing this as a career. Currently the game is suffering a shortfall in the number of young players seeking to become professionals. It is hoped that if this initiative is successful it could become a blueprint for similar schemes at other clubs. After their first six weeks we have received the following report from Cambridge on their progress so far.

Three 18-year-old gap year assistant professionals (GYAPs) started working at Cambridge University Real Tennis Club on 17 September 2019, and will continue until mid-March 2020. Jim Ludekens and Andrew Barker have come through the Club's junior program and were starting to show signs of serious improvement in their understanding of the game as they finished their formal education. Zara Tweed comes to the sport with a strong background in several ball sports, including Eton Fives and showed a lot of promise and skill during her initial session on court with Kees.

 

All three GYAPs have demonstrated excellent professional skills: they are punctual, presentable and have really transformed the atmosphere in the Club. This program has given them the opportunity to spend 15 hours a week at the Club, learning the basics of the trade: ball making, racket stringing, some admin duties, as well as the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time on court, either hitting with members, learning to coach or practicing their own game. Kees uses the junior and student sessions to teach them coaching techniques and the juniors, in particular, have responded very well to this extra dimension.

 

In addition, the GYAPs have each taken on a specific duty: Andrew is organising the Cambridge team in the East Anglia pennant, Zara has instigated a weekly 70+ doubles group and Jim is leading the initiative to ensure all hitting partner slots are booked. He is also taking many of the sessions himself. The three GYAPS take turns to mark the handicap doubles league on a Friday evening and feedback has been excellent. They have successfully managed some very disparate handicaps.

 

The GYAPs have recently benefitted from a session with Rob Fahey at Prested. Rob talked to them about off-court preparation: diet and exercise, as well as an on-court session which really motivated the boys (unfortunately Zara was not able to attend due to other work commitments). We hope to repeat this later in their placement, as well as trips to Wellington and Seacourt to gain a wider understanding of the sport. Meanwhile, in Cambridge, Kees coaches them on court and Peter and Kees both teach them off-court duties. They have also had several sessions with Duncan Colquhoun, working on the finer points of their game.

 

The program has started very successfully and we look forward to seeing the GYAPs progress over the next few months. I can't imagine the Club without them. Sincere thanks to The Dedanists' Foundation, The Dedanists Society and the T&RA for supporting this initiative.

Zara, Jim, Kees and Andrew

The PLH Cup Competition 2019/2020

This tournament is sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation. It is part of the Foundation’s programme for encouraging and helping clubs to recruit more schools and youngsters into the game.

It is a junior inter-club competition run on a handicap basis designed to include predominantly youngsters aged 12-15 with handicaps ranging from 60-90.

The Charity, with the assistance of our Ambassador Paul Weaver and Director Josh Farrall, successfully ran the sixth Peter Luck-Hille Cup in 2018/19. This inter-club junior team competition is aimed at giving juniors who may be below the elite level a chance to take part in team matches and meet similar juniors from other clubs. The 2019/20 tournament is now underway and for the first time it has been arranged on a knockout basis with a record entry of 10 clubs now taking part. The competition has reached semi-final stage but is currently on hold due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The final has been re-arranged to take place on September 12th.

RTC
Petworth
Oxford
Seacourt
At Wellington on September 12th 2020

The British Junior Singles Championships

The Queens Club August 16th-18th 2019

This year for the first time The Dedanists’ Foundation provided some sponsorship to the flagship event of the junior real tennis calendar. A large number of youngsters from many different clubs around the country competed over 3 days in the top junior event of the year. The finals were all held on Sunday 18th in front of a large and knowledgeable crowd of parents and supporters.

The U12 section saw the best final ever played at this level! 8 year old Max Warner (Queens) defeated George Jameson 8/7 in an absolute thriller to become the youngest ever winner of the under 12 title. The U14 final was won by Bertie Vallat (Queens) who defeated Henry Henman (Radley) 6/3 6/2. The U16 final was an all Seacourt affair with James Medlow defeating Max Trueman 6/3 6/3.

The U18 section was dominated by William Flynn in the group stages but in the Final he struggled to maintain his superiority. Unexpectedly William dropped the first set 6/2 to Patrick Smart (Queens) but he then recovered well to win 2/6 6/1 6/0.

The Nat Duncan Trophy and Racket was presented to Henry Henman for outstanding sportsmanship.

Every player that entered received a superb commemorative tennis shirt provided free of charge by the Foundation.

 

Results

Queen's Club, Sunday 18th August 2019

 

Under 18 William Flynn (Seacourt) bt Patrick Smart (Queens) 2/6 6/1 6/0

Under 16 James Medlow (Seacourt) bt Max Trueman (Seacourt) 6/3 6/3

Under 14 Bertie Vallat (Queens) bt Henry Henman (Radley) 6/3 6/2

Under 12 Max Warner (Queens) bt George Jameson (Seacourt) 8/7

 

Girls Plate Finals

Queen's Club, Friday 17th August 2018

 

Under 14  Final Katie Walker (Seacourt bt Eloise Flynn (Seacourt) 6/2

The Peter Luck-Hille Cup Final 2019

Wellington College Sunday 2nd June

RTC beat Seacourt 5/1

Once again The Dedanists’ Foundation was proud to sponsor the Peter Luck-Hille Cup Competition. The PLH Cup event is an inter-club junior competition specifically for junior players who are below the elite level. It gives them a chance to represent their club in team matches and meet and play against juniors of a similar standard from other clubs.

20 group stage matches had eventually resulted in Seacourt and RTC reaching the final which was held on Sunday 2nd June at the Wellington court. Seacourt were hoping to retain the trophy that they had won the previous year but RTC had other plans! Despite many close matches RTC went on to win the title convincingly 5-1.

After a few wise words from David Mills, The Dedanists Foundation Chairman, the magnificent trophy was presented by Peter Luck-Hille to Ross Morrison the winning RTC captain.

Currently there are 10 clubs entering teams and next year it is proposed to change the format of the competition to a knockout event which will hopefully allow even more club teams to take part.

Match Scores (RTC names first)        

Ollie Drew (60) vs Olivia Boulton (68)    6/2

Ross Morrison (67.0)  vs Barnaby Tambling (67)  6/3 

Oli Hampson-Evans (83) vs Liam Ireson (94)    2/6

Ollie Drew & Ross Morrison  vs Olivia Boulton & Barnaby Tambling    6/3

Ollie Drew & Oli Hampson-Evans vs Olivia Boulton & Liam Ireson    6/4

Ross Morrison & Oli Hampson-Evans vs Barnaby Tambling & Liam Ireson   6/0

Match Score RTC 5 Seacourt 1   

The end of another successful University Real Tennis season

The Dedanists’ Foundation award grants to Universities that have a registered students Real Tennis Club. Our grants allow the students in these clubs to regularly travel to and play their nearest Real Tennis Court. The grants also go towards the cost of attending the Annual Inter-University Tournament held each year at Cambridge. The Foundation also offers help with the design and supply of leaflets to attract new members each September.

Supporting University Real Tennis provides an important link to help young people continue to play our game even though they have left school and may have moved away.The photos below give you an idea of the fun the students have had in the 2018/19 season.

RTC & Seacourt qualify for the Peter Luck-Hille Cup Final

 

The Final will take place on June 2nd at Wellington starting at 10.00am

This tournament is sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation. It is part of the Foundation’s programme for encouraging and helping clubs to recruit more schools and youngsters into the game. It is a junior inter-club competition run on a handicap basis designed to include predominantly youngsters aged 12-15 with handicaps ranging from 45-90.

 
Please come along to support and enjoy some excellent junior tennis.
The Annual Dedanists' Foundation Founder Patron Lunch and the Launch of the New Diamond Patrons Scheme

The 7th Annual Dedanists’ Foundation Founder Patron lunch was held at the The Queen’s Club on Monday 14th January 2019 in the Members Private Dining Room. A Pol Roger champagne reception was followed by a superb lunch served to the 33 attendees which included the charity’s existing Founder and Diamond Patrons, potential Patrons, Directors and Ambassadors. 
David Mills, the Dedanists Foundation Chairman, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support. David also took the opportunity to officially launch the Diamond Patron Scheme. Details of the Diamond Patron Scheme have been subsequently emailed to all Founder Patrons and the good news is that the Charity now has 7 Diamond Patrons, for which we are grateful. 
This was followed by a few words from the Charity’s Ambassador, Paul Weaver. Paul talked about the last two junior events that had been sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation and how wonderful it was to see so many juniors from all backgrounds enjoying the game of Real Tennis. It was an excellent annual lunch and a true celebration of the tremendous work being done by the Foundation and a chance to thank all Diamond and Founder Patrons for their wonderful generosity.

The British U18 Junior Handicap Tournament 2018

Sponsored by The Dedanists' Foundation

The British Junior Handicap Singles Tournament, held at the Wellington College was sponsored once again by The Dedanists’ Foundation and attracted a huge entry of 36 junior players. The event is a junior inter-club competition run on a handicap basis designed to include predominantly youngsters aged 12-15 with handicaps ranging from 45-90. The fact that this number of juniors were keen and able to attend so near to Christmas is a good indication of the growing popularity of our wonderful game at a junior level. 
The “B”grade event for players over 70 handicap was played on the Saturday. After many close fought matches the final between Billy White (78 h/c) and George Carter (78 h/c) was won by George  6-1 6-1. 
The “A” event for players of 70 handicap and better was played on the Sunday. After two excellent semi-finals Max Trueman (51 h/c) defeated James Rossiter (53 h/c) in a hard fought final.  Our thanks go out to Dan Jones and Adam Player for excellent marking throughout and  Wellington Real Tennis Club for the use of their wonderful court. 
The tournament is part of the Foundation’s programme for encouraging and helping clubs to recruit more schools and youngsters into the game.

The Peter Luck-Hille Cup Tournament 2018/9

This tournament is sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation. It is part of the Foundation’s programme for encouraging and helping clubs to recruit more schools and youngsters into the game.

This event is a junior inter-club competition run on a handicap basis designed to include predominantly youngsters aged 12-15 with handicaps ranging from 45-90.

The Charity, with the assistance of our Ambassador Paul Weaver and Director Josh Farrall, successfully ran the fifth Peter Luck-Hille Cup in 2017/18. This inter-club junior team competition is aimed at giving juniors who may be below the elite level a chance to take part in team matches and meet similar juniors from other clubs. The 2018/9 tournament is now under way with a record entry of 10 clubs now taking part. We have are now just over half way through this years tournament and the current league positions are as follows:-

Remaining Fixtures


March 2nd/3rd  Radley v Bristol, Oxford v Wellington, 


March 30th/31st  Prested v Radley, Bristol v Seacourt, Oxford v Oratory, Wellington v RTC


April 20th/21st  Bristol v Queens, Seacourt v Radley, Wellington v Petworth, RTC v Oxford


Grand Final  May 26th at Wellington College

Inter-University Real Tennis Tournament 2018
Held at Cambridge & Newmarket November 22nd -25th
Exeter University Team
Middlesex University Team
Crowded Dedans


Over 4 days from 22nd November the Cambridge & Newmarket courts hosted the Annual Inter-Universities Real Tennis Tournament which was sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation and Pol Roger. The Dedanists’ Foundation award grants to Universities that have a registered students Real Tennis club. Our grants allow the students in these clubs to regularly travel to and play their nearest Real Tennis Court. As well as funding we also help with the design and supply of leaflets to attract new members each September.


The Universities that took part this year were St. Mary’s, Oxford, Exeter, Bristol, Newcastle, Durham, Middlesex, St. Andrews and hosts Cambridge. In all a total of 65 students, many of whom had only recently taken up the game, took part. It was a most enjoyable event with a tournament dinner taking place on the Saturday evening. This dinner was attended by nearly all of the students, plus the Cambridge pros, Chris Bray (Middlesex) and Paul Weaver representing the Dedanists’ Foundation. Paul took the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the Foundation and managed to do so quite early before the effects of the plentiful supply of Pol Roger Champagne had taken effect on his audience!


The individual handicap tournament was won by Felix Delaforce (Exeter) who defeated Juan Camacho (Middlesex) in the final. The Cup itself was won by Oxford who defeated the hosts Cambridge 2 rubbers to 1 in a thrilling final.

Click here for detailed report by Cambridge University student Ben Geytenbeek
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award - Real Tennis
New Initiative


The Dedanists’ Foundation is promoting a new initiative that should help create closer links between Clubs and local schools in their area.


Real Tennis has always been an option for school pupils embarking on the DofE Award scheme but until now it has been rarely chosen as a subject. The initiative led by Dan Jones Wellington and Dedanists Foundation Directors, Simon Roundell and Josh Farrall, started with the creation of a viable course manual. This is a structured approach to guide pupils through to achieving a Bronze DofE Award. 
This gives clubs a great opportunity to approach local schools and the DofE organiser based there in order to promote Real Tennis as a viable choice of subject.

 

Prested have been piloting the scheme with very positive results. Hatfield, Jesmond, Manchester and Seacourt have also already connected with the right people in their local area. A successful DofE course at a club should lead on to further applicants in following years as the word spreads about the credibility of the course and the fun of playing Real Tennis.


The Dedanists’ Foundation has increased it’s grants budget by a third for 2018/9 to allow many clubs to launch the scheme in their areas.

The Smart Grille Project

The Dedanists' Foundation has funded the development of an electronic Grille Board that illuminates when hit by a ball! The "Smart Grille" can be switched on when required and it's objective is to enhance the fun element of junior sessions particularly for those trying out the game for the first time.

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THE DEDANISTS' FOUNDATION

Updated 17.5.18

Webmaster - Mike Beel 2016