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Archive 2022 - 2020

British Junior Handicap Singles Championship

Held at Wellington on 10th-11th December 2022

Sponsored by the Dedanists' Foundation

There was an excellent entry of 28 juniors for the 2022 National Junior Handicap Singles event, held at the Wellington court over the weekend of December 10th/11th. These young players came from a wide variety of clubs across the country including those who had travelled a long way in difficult weather conditions from Bristol, Hyde, Oratory and Canford. Special thanks to Isabella Hardy and her mother Vix who drove through freezing fog all the way from Cambridge!

The 14 youngsters with the highest handicaps played on Saturday in the “B” competition. For many of them, it was their first taste of tournament play and there were many close-fought matches. In the “B” grade final Ryan Bennett (Wellington) defeated Felix Lawry (RTC) 8-4.

In the main competition, the quarter-finals included players from Queens Club (Max Warner), Bristol (Henry Taubman) and 4 players from Wellington Algie Nottingham, Archer Wyld, Oliver Wells and Arnan Bhandari. The highlight of the quarters was a great match between two future stars of the game Max Warner & Algie Nottingham. Superb tennis played off handicap by young players just 11 and 13 years old! The main competition Final was a one-sided affair with Archer Wyld looking extremely dangerous off of a 63 handicap! He defeated a flagging Algie Nottingham 6-0 to lift the trophy and title.

Prizes were presented by Paul Weaver (T&RA Director of Junior Tennis and Dedanists’ Foundation Ambassador). He took the opportunity to thank the Foundation for their continued support of this important junior event and for all the other good work that we do for junior real tennis.


Jesmond Dene Club Refurbishment

Great work by our Chairman David Mills!

Using his charitable connections our Chairman, David Mills, facilitated a grant of £50,000 to the Jesmond Dene Club from the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust. The Catherine Cookson Trust supports a wide range of activities including education and training, environment and conservation, arts and culture in the North Tyneside area.

As a result the club has undertaken a schedule of much-needed repairs and improvements as well as expanding their junior real tennis programme. The changes that this grant has allowed them to make are detailed in the pdf’s below:-

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The Dedanists’ Foundation decided to sponsor in part the National League match held at Wellington RTC on 7th October because it involved our president Rob Fahey playing against Ben Taylor-Mathews, the senior pro at Bristol RTC playing in the first string singles, as well as Max Trueman playing Bertie Vallat in the second string singles.

Max Trueman recently beat Bertie in the final of the World Junior Championships held at Seacourt RTC in August, an event sponsored by the Dedanists’ Society. Our charity has also recently given financial support to Ben T-M at Bristol RTC in his ongoing efforts to encourage youngsters from the local community to play real tennis. It seemed entirely appropriate therefore that the charity should help to sponsor the evening together with the main sponsor of the national league FLM. Sam Candy of FLM attended the evening.

I was delighted that eight of the charity’s Founder Patrons were there to enjoy an evening of outstanding tennis with refreshments provided by Wellington College and craft beer generously given by Clive Watson one of our Diamond Patrons.

We were most grateful to Danny Jones for his excellent marking and to Simon Roundell for organising the hospitality. In the event after two very exciting matches demonstrating some top-quality tennis, Rob beat Ben 4-6,6-4,6-3 and Max beat Bertie 6-1,2-6,6-2.

Our president Rob Fahey at the age of 54 still plays tennis of the very highest quality. Both matches provided the forty or so spectators with some wonderful tennis. 

David Mills

Chairman of the Dedanists’ Foundation

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The British Junior Championships & The World Junior Championships

A festival of junior tennis

The British Junior Singles Championships took place at Queens Club on August 19th-21st. It was wonderful to see a near record entry of 38 youngsters which was up from just 23 the previous year. This huge growth came largely as a result of the efforts of the Dedanists' Foundation, working hard at clubs that previously had very few players. The turnaround at these clubs is a direct result of new pros working effectively with Dedanists' Foundation funding to revive the fortunes of junior tennis at their respective clubs.

Good contingents of juniors came up to London from Bristol, Oratory and Canford and all enjoyed the fact that so many young players were there from so many different clubs. 



The Dedanists Pro-Am 2022

The 16th annual Dedanists Handicap Doubles Pro-Am was held on 7th July 2022 at Queen’s Club.  It was a great success and raised funds to be shared by the Dedanists’ Foundation and the Dedanists’ Society. The Foundation funds clubs to recruit new young players and schools into the game on an open-access basis. The Society runs the British Real Tennis Academy for the best young players in the country.  We are most grateful to Paul Ioannou & David Doyle of the Queen’s Club for providing us with great food and excellent service.

Sixteen amateur players, mainly Dedanists, paid £490 each to play and donate.  With handicaps ranging from 24 to 60, they were representative of the amateur game as a whole.  They each played three round-robin matches against amateurs of similar handicaps for a place in the semi-finals. Each amateur played with four or more different professionals in the process.

We are especially grateful to the pros for playing in this tournament. We were particularly pleased to see Lewis Williams (Leamington) and Josh Smith (Holyport) who were taking part in the Pro-Am for the first time. The very presence of the professionals persuades amateurs to enter and donate.  They moderate their play to bring out the best in amateur partners and opponents and entertain us with the quality of their play and banter.  They also encourage us with gems of good advice.

The players were as follows:

Professionals                                        Amateurs

Bray, Chris                                              Licudi, Stewart                            Lowenthal, Andrew 

Fahey, Claire                                          McVittie, John                              Moore, Francis

Fahey, Rob                                             McMurrugh, Mark                        Cripps, Simon

Jones, Dan                                             Saunders, John                            Paterson, Ronald

Mackenzie, Neil                                      Moore, Richard                            Leeper, James

Smith, Josh                                             Mills, David                                  Wilks, Willie

Williams, Lewis                                       Bebb, Jamie                                 Stogdon, Giles

Wood, Nick                                             Readman, Luke                            Guy Egerton-Smith     


Markers:  Howard Angus & Ged Parsons

Stewart Licudi, Ronald Paterson, Johnny Saunders and Giles Stogdon won through to the semi-finals.  Howard Angus reported that the standard of tennis in this year’s tournament was higher than ever before.  Stewart Licudi beat Giles Stogdon in the final. It was great that a new participant in the Pro-Am from Radley RTC was the winner of the event. Dedanists’ Foundation Chairman, David Mills presented the trophy and prizes with his own blend of sharp wit and racy humour. He was ably assisted by Claire Fahey who added glamour to the prize-giving.


Many thanks also to Josh Farrall and Carl Snitcher for organising such a splendid day. Josh was much missed on the day but is making a good recovery from Covid.

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PLH Cup FINAL 2021/22 Season

Victory for Seacourt in a thrilling Final

The final was played on the 12th June 2022. Teams from Oratory and Seacourt reached the final with Seacourt taking the trophy. The Oratory raced into a 2-0 lead, winning both of the opening singles matches. However from that point on, Seacourt gradually hauled their way back in to the match to triumph in the end 4-2. A great performance from the slightly older Oratory team who were giving handicaps in every match.  

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. All clubs will be contacted in the next few weeks with regards to participation in next years competition.


The 2022 Inter-University Tournament 
Sponsored by the Dedanists' Foundation

Over the past 10 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 44 players from 7 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.




The Annual Inter-University Real Tennis Tournament was a huge success this year thanks to sponsorships from the Dedanists Foundation and Pol Roger. The host (Cambridge University Real Tennis Club, CURTC) welcomed 7 universities from across the country: Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Middlesex, Oxford, and St. Andrews. All 44 tennis players demonstrated great athleticism and sportsmanship throughout the 3 day-long T&RA event (11th – 13th March). That said, the Middlesex players’ thunderous cheers and support for fellow players were inimitable. Indeed, it was a delightful event that brought many new and experienced tennis players together. The CURTC members also continued the tradition of providing home-baked cakes for players.


During Saturday's Pol Rogers Champagne reception a superb Exhibition match was played between two IiP Professionals: Jim Ludekens (Cambridge) and Jack Josephs (Middlesex). It was a thrilling match which displayed startlingly high-level tennis, captivating the audience, Jim won 8/7. The audience were also presented with homemade canapés by Mrs Ludekens for which the CURTC is most grateful. The Pol Rogers Champagne reception was followed by the tournament dinner; attendees included the Cambridge President, Vix Harvey, the Pros from Cambridge and Middlesex, and almost all players. For most students, the night extended to the blissful Cambridge town centre.


The finals were played on the subsequent Sunday morning. The Handicap Singles tournament trophy was raised by Hugo Pennant (Durham) who defeated Igor Sterner (Cambridge), 8-2. Despite Igor’s relentless fight, Hugo played incredibly with great finesse and executed both winning and defensive shots intelligently. The Inter-University Cup was won by a dominant Oxford team against Cambridge. Cambridge’s Patrick Smart and Aaron Wienkers kept the tension high with powerful winning shots, but Oxford’s Men’s 1st pair, Benedict Yorston and Louis Manson retaliated with astonishing tennis. Benedict’s speed and unimaginable retrieving, and Louis’s natural flair for penetrating volleys and returns startled Cambridge, sealing the final score at 3-0.


The CURTC has yet again hosted a fantastic T&RA event, and Ben Geytenbeek’s tireless effort and expertise in devising the draw, with contributions from Vix Harvey and the Cambridge Pros is highly commended. Events like this would not have been possible without the continued generous support from the Dedanists Foundation and Pol Roger. We hope to see even more players in 2023!

Report from Kees Ludekens - Head Pro at Cambridge

The girls from Wellington take on the Oratory in one of the recent semi-finals

British U18 Handicap Singles 2021

Sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation

There was an excellent entry of 21 juniors for this year’s Handicap Singles event held at the Wellington court over the weekend of 18th/19th December. The 12 youngsters with the highest handicaps played on Saturday in the “B” competition. For many of them, it was their first taste of tournament play and there were many close-fought matches.

In the end, it came down to a final between two young players from Wellington, Lila Hue-Williams and Seb Edwards. The match was initially close before Seb took charge and went on to win 8-3 and take the “B” prize.

The main competition took place on Sunday with players from many clubs taking part. The highlight of the group stages was 10 year old Max Warner’s come back from 7-2 down to win 8-7 in a match he had to win to qualify for the semi-finals. Max (Queens) was joined in the semi-finals by Tanish Mehta, Francesca Sweet, and Willem Sweet all from Wellington. Max qualified through to the final to play last year’s winner Francesca. The final produced yet another comeback from young Max who came back from 6-3 down to win the match and the tournament 8-6.

Prizes were presented by Paul Weaver (Director of Junior Tennis UK and Dedanists' Foundation Ambassador). He took the opportunity to thank The Dedanists' Foundation for their sponsorship of the event and for all the other good work that the Foundation does for Junior Tennis.


“B” Grade   Seb Edwards bt Lila Hue-Williams 8-3

“A” Grade  Max Warner bt Francesca Sweet 8-6

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The Jesters Club

The Dedanists’ Foundation is delighted to announce that they are now working on some joint projects with the Jesters Club. These projects focus on encouraging youngsters to play real tennis in clubs around the UK. The Jesters Club has over 3000 members worldwide and is dedicated in large part to the organisation and promotion of racket sports throughout the world and to the encouragement of the games at their sporting best.

As a result of this cooperation the Dedanists’ Foundation and the Jesters Club will be jointly funding initiatives at Oratory, Bristol, Moreton, Canford, and Cambridge Real Tennis clubs. On all of these initiatives we will be working together the Jesters to achieve our joint aim which is to increase junior participation in Real Tennis on an open access basis.

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A great half-term for Junior Tennis!

During the recent October school half-term break, the Dedanists' Foundation coordinated a major campaign to introduce a new batch of junior players into clubs to experience Real Tennis for the first time. Encouragingly most of the clubs involved were courts that had previously had little or no junior activity.

Bristol Real Tennis Club

Chris Ronaldson and Maggie Henderson-Tew are on a 6-month secondment to revive the fortunes of the Bristol club. One of their priorities was to create an active new junior section. To help achieve this they turned to the Dedanists' Foundation for help and guidance. With considerable funding from the Foundation and marketing advice from our Ambassador Paul Weaver and Tory Wall, they set up a series of very successful Junior Open Days over a 3 week period.

An amazing total of 42 new junior players, (including 17 girls) aged from 5-14 attended these events and all of those who played have signed up for follow-up sessions at the club. 13 of the watching parents have also signed up for taster sessions and may well end up as new club members.

All in all a great initiative for junior tennis and for the Bristol club in general.


Moreton Morrell

With financial and moral support from the Dedanists' Foundation, the Moreton club organised its first Junior Open Day on 23rd October. 250 flyers were designed by Tory wall and printed by the Foundation to help them advertise the event. These flyers were sent to local schools and posted on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a result, 7 youngsters were recruited who had never been on a Real Tennis court before. They all had an enjoyable couple of hours and 5 signed up to take part in a 6-week ongoing program of lessons,

The first of these follow-up sessions took place successfully on November 6th.

A great start to Moreton Morrell's junior recruitment drive!

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Success for Junior Open Day at the Oratory

The Dedanists’ Foundation were delighted to sponsor a Junior Open Day at the Oratory Real Tennis Club on Saturday 30 October. The Foundation contributes £1500 per year towards an enhanced remuneration package for assistant professional Levi Gale and this has enabled him to stay in the game and given him the opportunity to create this initiative at the club.

The Dedanists’ Foundation designed and printed marketing material to promote this event and Levi and Claire worked hard to get juniors from local state schools to come along and try out the game for the very first time. On the day 14 youngsters attended, ranging in age from 7-13. On-court coaching was provided by Claire Fahey for a total of 3 hours.

Everyone very much enjoyed the experience and Claire has signed up 9 of these juniors for some follow-up sessions over the next 6 weeks. Plans are also underway to hold another Junior Open Day in the new year.

Well done the Oratory!

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Train the Trainer Workshop July 2021

On the 31st July, three of Moreton Morrell's most influential members attended a Dedanists' Foundation "Train the Trainer" course at Wellington with Paul Weaver and Dan Jones. David Phillips, Tony Branfield, and new chairman Simon Hobson came along to get a masterclass on how to attract new junior members to their club.

Another important aspect of the day was learning how to keep the enthusiasm of the new juniors going with a combination of on-court learning and fun which is quite different from conventional adult coaching. They intend to come back to us within a few weeks with a plan based around a junior open day at Moreton, probably in September. The Dedanists' Foundation will support the Junior Day with funding and marketing materials.

A couple of weeks earlier, Dedanists' Foundation ambassador, Paul Weaver had joined other members of the GB over 60's team for a few hours of tennis at the Moreton Morrell club. Apart from the pleasure of getting back together, it was wonderful to experience playing on the club's brand new floor. Obviously, the way that the floor plays is the most important thing but initially, it is the beauty of the surface that impresses most. A classic Bickley colour with marble-like swirls embedded in the surface gave the impression that it had been there for decades! And the icing on the cake was that it played beautifully too!

For the full story and a series of short videos on its construction visit

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Dedanists’ Foundation Junior becomes an IIP Apprentice Professional


18-year-old Alex Machin has become the second young player to join the new IIP Apprentice Professional Scheme.

As part of The Dedanists’ Foundation plan to reach out to potential new players in state schools, Dan Jones visited Edgebarrow School in Crowthorne, Berks. Dan offered four juniors a chance to try out real tennis at The Wellington Club with the cost of coaching and courts covered by The Foundation.

Alex, who was 15 years old at the time, was one of that group and took to the game of real tennis immediately. Further sponsored coaching followed which has now led to his successful application to become an apprentice real tennis professional under the IIP Scheme. He will take up his new position on the 25th August at the Wellington club and is determined to continue the process that introduced him to the game.

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British Junior Handicap Singles Championships 2020

The first National tournament to be held since the re-opening of real tennis courts took place at Wellington on Saturday 5th June 2021.

The British Junior Handicap Singles event for 2020 was completed at last! The competition was sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation as part of our program to promote increased junior participation in real tennis.

4 preliminary round-robin groups provided the 4 semi-finalists, Charlie Enticknap, Cesca Sweet and Willem Sweet from Wellington plus Bertie Vallat from the Queens Club. Two great semi-finals resulted in the first ever final featuring twin brother v twin sister, Cesca & Willem Sweet.

In the final, some very hard hitting from Willem did not phase Cesca who gave as good as she got! Her sheer athleticism, along with a decent handicap advantage saw her through to an 8-2 win. It was a very watchable match fuelled with the added ingredient of sibling rivalry but all played in an excellent spirit.

The trophy was presented by tournament organiser, Paul Weaver thanked the Dedanist’ Foundation for their support and noted that Cesca was the first girl to win the coveted trophy in its’ 25 year history!


Semi-Finals  Willem Sweet bt Charlie Enticknap 6-4      Cesca Sweet bt Bertie Vallat 6-1

Final  Cesca Sweet bt Willem Sweet 8-2


Early success for The Dedanists' Foundation initiatives at Jesmond

 At the beginning of 2020, Mark Eadle took over as Head Pro at the Jesmond Club with his son Zak Eadle as assistant. We were determined to seize the opportunity presented by this "new start" at the club by supporting the new pros in any we could to help increase the level of junior participation at Jesmond.

Initially, we agreed to provide the club with a grant of £1500 to help them develop a strong junior section. We then joined forces with The Dedanists' Society and the T&RA to provide a £5000 grant to Zak Eadle to ensure that he stayed in the professional game during the long Covid shutdown.

We are now pleased to report that considerable progress has already been made. Local state school Whitley Bay High School has signed up and included Real Tennis as a topic in their "A Level" PE Course. Also, Mark tells us that he has already received positive feedback from teachers at other schools in the area to his social media posts about the Whitley Bay High School project.

 " Whitley Bay High School have had a great day learning about Real Tennis. This is  a topic we teach as part of our A Level PE course and it was great to give our students an opportunity to play the sport themselves.The game is very technical, so it was great to have such fantastic coaching from Mark and Zak. Jesmond Real Tennis Club were very welcoming during our visit and we have all left with big smiles on our faces! Thank you!

Kate Kennedy

PE Teacher - Whitley Bay High School "


U18 British Handicap Singles - Sponsored by The Dedanists' Foundation held at Wellington 19th/20th December 2020

This year’s tournament was held at the Wellington court and was interrupted mid-way by the sudden change in the Covid tier structure, with Wellington going into Tier 4. As a result only the “B” competition was completed with the “A” event to take place as soon as possible in the new year.

This year the entry was capped at 24 juniors to make it easier to comply with the Tier 3 Covid regulations. The 12 youngsters with the highest handicaps played on the Saturday in the “B” competition. For many of them it was their first taste of tournament play and there were many close fought matches.

In the end it came down to a final between two young players from Wellington, Tanish Mehta and Poppy Hinds. The match was all square at 3-3 all before Tanish took charge and went on to win 6-3 to win the “B” title. Many thanks go out to Wellington for holding the event in these most difficult of circumstances and to The Dedanists’ Foundation ofcourse for their continued support and sponsorship.


Train the Trainer Day held at Wellington

18th December 2020

In the final day before the new Covid restrictions came into force, Dan Jones and Paul Weaver delivered a one-day intensive “Train the Trainer” course at the Wellington court.

The recipient of the course was Levi Gale who is currently based at The Oratory. Levi is receiving financial support for an 18 month period from a group of sponsors, The Dedanists’ Foundation, The Dedanists Society and the T&RA.

It was agreed by all funding partners that Levi would benefit from attending this course and that it was also a basic requirement for all new young professionals who are funded in this way. Paul & Dan have been developing junior talent at Seacourt and Wellington over many years. In conjunction with the Dedanists Foundation who sponsor the course, they have designed this one-day session to create a structure for recruiting young players into the game and retaining their enthusiasm by allowing them to learn and enjoy our wonderful game.

Levi will now take this knowledge back to the Oratory and work on the creation of a strong new junior section at his club and his progress will be reviewed by Paul on a 3 monthly basis.


Peter Luck-Hille Cup 2020

Semi-Finals and Final completed - Just in time!

On Sunday 13th December the 2 semi-finals and the Final of the 2020 PLH Cup were played at Wellington. In the first Semi-Final RTC took on Petworth. It went down to the last match after Toby Barton defeated Oli Hampson-Evans 8/7 for Petworth and Henry Weekes levelled it up by beating Will Fountain 8/4.. Fin Hanley won the deciding match beating Barnaby Lawford 8/2.

The second semi-final resulted in a 3/0 win for Seacourt over Oxford, sounds like a convincing win but all 3 matches went down to the wire with Seacourt winning them all 8/7!

The final, RTC vs Seacourt, was another great match. It kicked off with Evie Tambling (Seacourt) beating Oli Hampson-Evans 8/6 then Liam Ireson closed out his match against Henry Weekes 8/3 in a match that was a lot closer than the score suggests! Fin Handley pulled a match back for RTC by beating James Walker to make it 2/1 overall but it was Seacourt who lifted the trophy!

This competition, is sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation and run on a handicap basis designed predominantly for youngsters aged 12 -15 with handicaps 60 - 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.


Dedanists’ Foundation Honours Board installed at The Queen’s Club


The names of all our Diamond and Founder Patrons appear on the new Dedanists’ Foundation Honours Board, which has been erected at The Queen’s Club. It has taken pride of place on the West Court dedans wall. Our sincere thanks go out to all Patrons without whom we would not be able to carry out the important work we do for junior Real Tennis.Thanks also to Ros Niland, Gary Neal and Simon Mansfield from The Queen’s Club.

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.


For the second consecutive year Seacourt has approached their local school to bolster the club's junior membership. Last year in an attempt to kick start a junior renaissance at Seacourt The Dedanists' Foundation offered to fund 6 free junior memberships at the club (normally £75) plus 3 month’s free group coaching. The Board at Seacourt who were obviously delighted decided to match our offer by also offering 6 more free places.


This year we were pleased to offer the college the same opportunity and on September 24th Paul Weaver, the Dedanists' Foundation Ambassador, took an assembly at the school. Paul gave a short talk to the youngsters about the history of Real Tennis and pointed out the astonishing fact that 9 of the worlds' current professionals had previously attended school at Hayling College. Paul was accompanied by Seacourt Professional Aaron Flippence and current college pupils Max Trueman & William Flyn who showed off the U14 & U16 British Singles trophies that they recently won at Queens.The assembly was closed by showing the new Dedanists’ Foundation Real Tennis Promotional Video which went down really well.


Within a couple of days Seacourt has already received 8 applications for the junior memberships!. The “class of 2018” will soon start their first coaching sessions and this initiative should build year on year into a great new junior section at Seacourt. The Dedanists' Foundation believe that this format could be a blueprint for many other clubs to attract new junior players.

Peter Luck-Hille Cup Final 2018

Match Scores - Seacourt names first:-

James Medlow (51.4)    vs    George Parsons (70.8)    3/6

Jessica Medlow (68.8)    vs    Ross Morrison (74.0)    6/2 

Barnaby Tambling (91.8)    vs    James Parsons (86.5)    6/1

James Medlow & Jessica Medlow (60.4)    vs    George Parsons & Ross Morrison (75.3)    4/6

James Medlow & Barnaby Tambling (64.2)    vs    George Parsons & James Parsons (78.6)    2/6

Jessica Medlow & Barnaby Tambling (76.1)    vs    Ross Morrison & James Parsons (79.6)    6/5

Match Score 3-3    Seacourt won on games

Bristol Juniors meet the Earl of Wessex

Over the past year The Dedanists' Foundation has been funding a revised junior programme at the Bristol Club. The funding has been used to hold 2 junior open days and contribute to ongoing group coaching sessions. The Bristol club's junior coordinator, Chris Harland, has also attended our Junior Coordinator's course held at Wellington and run by Paul Weaver & Dan Jones.

Recently some of these juniors have had a chance to meet and play tennis with HRH The Earl of Wessex who visited the club on the 21st February as part of his nationwide tour of all the Real Tennis clubs in the Uk raising funds for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

The British Junior Handicap Singles Tournament 2017
Sponsored by The Dedanists' Foundation
Wellington College December 16th/17th 2017

The British Junior Handicap Singles Tournament was held at the Wellington College court for the first time. The event was sponsored by The Dedanists’ Foundation and attracted a record entry of 37 junior players. This record entry reflects the growing number of youngsters now playing our wonderful game.

The “B”grade event for players over 75 handicap  was played on the Saturday. After many close fought matches the four youngsters who got through to the semi finals were Samm Daniel 85h/c (Wellington), Henry Henman 81h/c (Radley), James Parsons 88 h/c (RTC) and Julias Gasson 80 h/c (Oxford). Two more close matches resulted in a final between Samm & Henry which was won by Samm 6-1.

The “A” event for players of 75 handicap and better was played on the Sunday. The group stages produced semi finalists William Flynn 38 h/c (Seacourt), Hugo Pennant 69 h/c (Wellington), Toby Marriot 75 h/c (RTC) and Jack Kinnear  75 h/c (Wellington). Two high quality semi finals lead to the final between William & Hugo. William who had been successfully giving enormous handicaps all day finally succumbed to almost impossible odds as Hugo went on to win the coveted trophy 8-2.

Our thanks go out to Dan Jones and Adam Player for excellent marking throughout and to The Dedanists’ Foundation for their sponsorship.

Hayling College

New Initiative

Seacourt has a history for junior talent but there are currently far less juniors playing at the club than at any time in recent years. In an attempt to kick start a junior renaissance , The Dedanists' Foundation offered to fund 6 free junior memberships at the club (normally £75) plus 3 month’s free coaching. We took this offer along to the Board at Seacourt who were obviously delighted and decided to match our offer by also offering 6 more free places.


This gave us a total of 12 free memberships to offer plus a term’s free coaching. In order to reach out to a completely new generation of players our Ambassador, Paul Weaver contacted the Headmaster of the local state school, Hayling College and invited him to a meeting at Seacourt to have a look round and meet Alex Garside (MD) and Nino Merola (Head Pro). At that meeting Paul agreed to take 3 consecutive morning assemblies at the school to make a pitch to years 7,8 & 9 (age 11-15)


These assemblies took place on 2nd/ 4th October. Paul gave a short talk about the history of Real Tennis and pointed out the astonishing fact that 9 of the worlds' current professionals had previously attended school at Hayling College. The assembly was closed by showing the new Dedanists’ Foundation Real Tennis Promotional Video which went down really well.


Within 4 days Seacourt had received 36 applications for junior memberships! Although originally only 12 free memberships were on offer, the club wisely decided to make the most of this great recruitment opportunity and offered a 6 month free membership and free coaching for a term to all of the applicants. The “class of 2017” have just started their first coaching sessions. The Dedanists' Foundation believe that this format could be a blueprint for many other clubs to attract new junior players.

Bristol Club Open Day

On September 30th 2017 the Bristol Real Tennis Club held a Junior Open Day. The Dedanists’ Foundation supported and sponsored the event in the following ways:-

  1. Designed and printed a flyer for the event.

  2. Gave the club use of our Junior Kit Bag which contains 6 x junior rackets, 6 x goggles, cones, targets etc.

  3. Designed and printed 2 large banners to go on the outside of the building to attract juniors attending the other sports facilities close to the Real Tennis Court.

  4. Covered 50% of the costs of the day (courts etc).

  5. Underwriting the cost of 3 groups of juniors attending ongoing regular group sessions up to a maximum of £400.

The Bristol club achieved exactly what it it set out to do and now has an ongoing program of junior tennis sessions. Enormous thanks to Chris Harland for all his hard work both on the day and in the build up to it taking place.

Spring Newsletter 2018

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