LAST weekend, Barry Community Tennis Club hosted local rivals Penarth Windsor Lawn Tennis Club at Romilly Park for the first fixture of summer 2019.

The 12u Girls teams, playing in the South Wales Team Tennis League (Division 2) met on Saturday afternoon, where, after a wet and blustery week, the biggest issue with the weather was the brightness of the sun!

Playing for Barry CTC were Grace Mickelsen (age 11, Barry Island Primary School) and Poppy Williams (age 12, St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School).

The girls had to play a full singles match each, followed by a doubles match, and the home team won all 3 matches, securing a solid start to the season.

Grace has a lot of tennis experience (her mum Penny is the head coach and founding member of Barry Community Tennis Club, and involves Grace in a lot of her work with Judy Murray’s She Rallies initiative to get more women and girls involved with tennis), whereas this was Poppy’s first ever experience of an external competition, and her first full matches with yellow ball.

Poppy’s mum Alison (a teacher at All Saints Primary, and doubles partner to Grace’s mum) commented: "Playing in the match has boosted Poppy’s confidence both on and off the court.

"She started the match nervous and worried that she wasn’t good enough but by the end of the doubles match she had a beaming smile on her face and didn’t stop talking all the way home in the car.

"The next day she wanted to go back to the Romilly Park courts and play more tennis!"

The club also has teams at 8u, 9u and ladies, and their summer campaigns start in a few weeks.

If you’d like to find out more about the club, check out their social media accounts or turn up at one of the sessions where a coach or existing member will be happy to chat about what the club has to offer.