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ENCOURAGE

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INSPIRE

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Our
Aim
...

To Get Young
People
Involved &
Impassioned
With Real 
Tennis.

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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.

  • The People
     
  • What we do
     
  • This Season's News
     
  • Archive
     
  • A video explanation of Real Tennis
     
  • How? A selection of coaching videos to watch & help with coaching ideas
     
  • Why?
     

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Latest news .....

PLH Cup Final 2024

Played at Wellington on Sunday 2nd June 2024

Sponsored by The Dedandists’ Foundation

The Peter Luck-Hille Cup is an inter-club Junior team competition sponsored by the Dedanists’ Foundation which is aimed at giving younger juniors who are relatively new to the game, a chance to take part in team matches and meet their junior counterparts from other clubs.

12 clubs entered teams into this knock-out event and the players involved were predominantly 10-12 year olds with handicaps in the range of 75-95. The two teams that made it through to the final were Cambridge and Wellington, neither of whom had ever won the trophy before in its 10-year history. The final was actually a close fought match with nearly every game going close. However in the end it was won by the Cambridge team 5-1. The coveted trophy was presented to the Cambridge winning captain by the Dedanists’ Foundation Ambassador, Paul Weaver. Paul thanked the Wellington club for hosting the event and all the parents for getting their youngsters to the match on time and looking very smart in their foundation tennis shirts.

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British U15 Junior Handicap Doubles

Played at Bristol on Saturday 27th April

Sponsored by The Dedandists’ Foundation

 

The future of Real Tennis descended on Bristol to determine the 2024 U15 Handicap Doubles Champions. A strong representation from the West Country courts made up a good proportion of the young hopefuls.

The first semi-final saw pairs from The Hyde taking and Canford. It was good to see the return of last year's winning pair Rose and Oliver Kay again and to see how well they are progressing. They took on the new pairing of Zack Hartin and Gabriel Franklin from Canford. In an epic match, Zack & Gabriel won 6/5 after coming back from 5/2 down.

The second semi-final was an all-Bristol affair between the Finch Twins (Archie and Hal) and Edward Wescott and James Galvin. Another cliffhanger saw Edward and James progress to the final with another 6/5 win!

 

So the final was a level match between Gabriel Franklin/Zach Hartin from Canford and Edward Wescott /James Galvin from BRTC.

Gabriel and Zach played some fantastic Tennis including the shot of the day from Zach with his crosscourt into the base of the Tambour which would have troubled even the best. However, the Bristol pair were on fire and were deserved winners at 8/3.

 

Thanks go out to The Dedanists' Foundation for sponsoring the event and to the players and the parents for their continued support and enthusiasm. Thanks also to Bristol Professional Ben Coleman who marked all of the matches and ensured that everything ran smoothly.

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2023/24 PLH Cup Semi-Finals

The Peter Luck-Hille tournament is sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation and is run on a handicap basis designed predominantly for youngsters aged 12 -15 with handicaps 65 - 90. This inter-club junior team competition is aimed at giving juniors who are relatively new to the game a chance to take part in team matches and meet their junior counterparts from other clubs.

This season's semi-finals took place during April with Cambridge and Wellington progressing through to the final. The final will be held at Wellington on Sunday June 2nd ans spectators are more than welcome to come along.

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The 2024 Inter-University Tournament 
Sponsored by the Dedanists' Foundation

Over the past 12 years the Dedanists'Foundation has given financial support to many university Real Tennis groups. We see university tennis as an important bridge between playing the game as a junior and playing again as an adult. This tournament is now the focal point in the universities’ real tennis calendar and this years event was a great success with 42 players from 6 universities playing singles and doubles, handicap and level over 3 days.  The players were a mix of those new to the game (Dedanists’ Foundation country) and those more experienced.

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Report from Kees Ludekens - Head Pro at Cambridge

Cambridge University students and club were delighted to host the six universities and over forty players who were involved in this year’s Inter University Cup and Tournament. The first team to arrive, with the largest cohort (as in previous years) was Middlesex University RTC. And past history repeated itself - they were the most enthusiastic on and off court! There was some excellent tennis, played in a spirit of fun and friendship – friendships which were cemented at a convivial dinner on the Saturday evening at Robinson College.

 

Thanks to St Andrew’s University for making a considerable effort to travel so far. Congatulations to Mark Eadle for encouraging a large cohort from Newcastle and York Universities. In a close final of the handicap singles, Joseph Sharpe (St Mary’s, London) defeated Arianna Magnanini (Middlesex) 6/4. In the Inter Uni cup, Newcastle 1 (Charlie Enticknap and Max Sutton) defeated Cambridge 1 (Arthur Adams and Jin Lee) 8/5 8/7 in the singles, with Cambridge winning the doubles 1/8.

 

Many thanks, as ever, to The Dedanists' Foundation, Pol Roger and the T&RA, for sponsoring the event.

Kees

Club Reports

From time to time it is good to highlight clubs where a Dedanists' Foundation grant is making a real difference. In particular we are focusing on the importance and effectiveness of our grants to the Oratory and Holyport.

The Oratory

Rob Fahey writes.....

When we arrived in 2020/21, The Oratory had no juniors at all. Understandable as the combination of few members and lock downs meant that Juniors were not one of the top priorities.

 

By 2022 we were in a position to talk to the Dedanists' Foundation and start to formulate a plan of attracting (non school) juniors to the club. The Dedanists@ Foundation saw an opportunity to engage Levi Gale as a big part of this project and the hard work he put in during the early stages made it easier for Claire and I to move forward. I have no doubt that Prested Hall is now benefiting hugely from having Levi work his magic with juniors.

 

Lock downs meant that we were attracting a relatively young membership to the club (work from home was a boom for RT) and so we were able to get anyone with children to bring them along for a try. Further to that we were placing Facebook posts around all the local village pages including junior sessions. We advertised in our local monthly magazine called "Round and About"  which reached over 20,000 households and we asked them to do a piece on us and Real Tennis, again including junior sessions. We quite quickly had 3 younger juniors and 3 older juniors coming to two separate sessions a week. A slow but steady start.

 

We next approached the local schools and this proved to be very difficult to get any positive outcome. School resources are very stretched, from the timetable to bus and staff availability. Ultimately we managed to get one of the local schools, Goring Primary, to commit to a term of Real Tennis for year 6. The kids and teachers love it! Contacting all the local schools proved invaluable and we now get involved in their individual fund raising events. Schools in the area know that we will always offer free lessons as part of their fund raising efforts and so we get a few families coming through the door every year. I have attracted 8 new members as a side benefit of this tactic.

 

We have stayed consistent with our approach and over the past 30 months we have had 43 (non school) juniors participate in our sessions, 13 of those girls. Of the 43 we have 38 that continue to play over what is now 5 hours a week of court time run by myself, and incredibly generously by my wife Claire in her spare time. Not something she has a lot of! Katherine Carney was one of our original 5 having contacted us after reading our editorial piece in the local newsletter. Last year she reached the final of the Girls Junior World Championship and more recently was the finalist in The School Girls Singles Championships and was a winner in the doubles. Katherine is now fully focussed on Real Tennis, playing two singles a week with a lesson on top. Having taken advantage of Dedanist's Foundation subsidies initially, Katherine is now fully funded by her parents and plans to go onto bigger and better results.

 

We look forward to many more of our juniors committing to the game over time and we are extremely pleased to be adding our success here at The Oratory to that of so many other clubs who have been supported by grants from the Foundation.

 

Claire and I would like to express our gratitude to the Dedanist's Foundation for making all of this possible. It really is making a difference!

 

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Holyport Real Tennis Club

Josh King writes...

Thanks to the financial support we have received from the Dedanists' Foundation we are starting to build up a good number of regular junior players here at Holyport. Their support in enabling us to hold "Junior Open Days" at the club was a great starting point. I think the next step is to start getting them involved in some junior inter-club fixtures. I remember from my time at Radley there was a Peter Luck-Hille Cup, where juniors would play juniors from other clubs and Holyport would now like to get involved in this competition.

From a starting position of no Junior players when I arrived we now have junior players with handicaps of 39, 42, 58, and 63.

We also have about 10 Eton College boys with handicaps from 62-72 and 10 other youngsters ranging from 85-95.

 

The growth in our junior section over the last year has been hugely aided by the support we've received from the Dedanists' Foundation, so thank you again for all you do for junior Real Tennis!

PLH Cup Tournament reaches Semi-Final Stage

The PLH Cup tournament is sponsored each year by The Dedanists’ Foundation. 12 junior teams entered the event and the four clubs that made it through to the semi-finals are Wellington, Cambridge, Oratory School and Oratory Club. This inter-club junior team competition is aimed at giving juniors who are relatively new to the game a chance to take part in team matches and meet their junior counterparts from other clubs. The semi-final matches will take place over the weekend of 23rd/24th March and the Final will be played at Wellington on June 2nd.

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Wellington v Seacourt

Community Coaching starts at MCC

Support  from the Dedanists' Foundation has enabled the MCC Head Real Tennis professional, Chris Bray to set up an exciting new junior scheme at the famous club. The MCC Indoor Cricket School and Westminster Borough Council provide cricket to local state school children at Lords. As from February 12 – 16th half term break they will also be getting on to the MCC court for Real Tennis coaching with Chris. If deemed a success, then this will become a regular feature during all subsequent school holidays. The Foundation is particularly delighted that this initiative is centered around state schools, an area that is very much at the core of what we do.

New Videos to help Juniors

We all know how difficult it is to explain the rules of our wonderful game to someone who has never played Real Tennis before. Paul Weaver recently started coaching a new group of 8-12 year olds at Seacourt and was worried that juniors were being put off the game as it appeared to be too complicated. He realised how much simpler it would be if there was a series of really simple videos for the juniors to watch at home so that they could start to understand the basic rules. 

As a result and with funding from the Dedanists' Foundation a series of 3 short videos have now been made to help juniors to understand the game. Details of these videos have been sent to all UK club professionals who may be able to use them at their clubs. The videos have  been posted on youtube and are available to view on YouTube as follows:-

Video 1 Chases https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJbbriuhT9s&t=8s

Video 2 Serving https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqRZ37dXdYg&t=176s

Video 3 Winning Openings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yTGwRTxhsM&t=56s

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