IT was match perfect for a group of young Barry tennis players when they proved aces in their first taste of competitive play, recently.
More than 30 juniors, aged four to 15 years-old, took part in Barry Tennis Club's Junior Championships with the event also marking the end of several months of building membership numbers in the junior section.
The first competition was for the youngest group of players, mini-red or 8&u players, using slower bouncing balls and smaller courts according to the Lawn Tennis Association's Mini Tennis guidelines.
19 players competed across four boxes in a round robin format.
Each player had at least three matches, with family and friends watching from courtside and enjoying the ambience of the clubhouse with refreshments and activities for all.
Danielle Loughman, mum to Camille, four, who now plays regularly in the mini sessions at the club and Imogen, seven, who competed in the 8&u category, said: “It was a lovely event for the children to take part in with good sportsmanship. Well done everyone and well done Penny and everyone else who organised it.”
Nine mini-orange 9&u players also competed and enjoyed several matches each, some of whom were trying mini-orange matchplay for the very first time.
The club also hosted competitions for 12&u and 16&u players, and the consensus from players and spectators alike, across the age ranges, was that this was something that the club should host at least annually.
All players were presented with certificates and medals, and the winner of each category was presented with a trophy - Danny Mickelsen for 8&u and 9&u, Olivia Barnett for 12&u, and Thomas Butler-Sainsbury in the 16&u category.
Club junior development officer, Penny Mickelsen, said: “I am really proud of all the children. It's incredible to think that four months ago, we had less than 10 under 16s playing regularly at the club, but now we regularly see 15 to 20 in individual sessions, with a total of around 50 junior members and counting. Apart from the health and fitness benefits of playing a sport, tennis teaches great sportsmanship and social skills, and perhaps most importantly, the kids have loads of fun.”
A junior presentation evening will be held on Friday, September 12, where each category will be presented with a shield to be engraved with the winners' names and retained in the clubhouse as a mark of posterity for forthcoming seasons.
Businesses wishing to support the presentation evening with sponsorship or raffle prizes, should contact the club on 07816 311263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org