We held our annual Christmas tournament on Sunday with 22 participants braving all weathers! Full…
Our handicap tournament event took place at the weekend and proved to be an overwhelming success.
Organised by Corneliu, the event’s 2-day format was something new for the club. The first round matches took place on the Saturday with the semis and finals on the Sunday.
The handicapping system meant there were many close matches involving the 16 pairs. However the eventual winners were Ian & Greg who beat Kingdom & Leo in a thrilling and tight contest.
Refreshments and entertainment were laid on throughout the weekend. The Saturday night featured a superb covers band who kept the audience on their feet.
The event was a fundraiser for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and all proceeds from entry fees, the raffle and general donations went to make a total of over £840. We still have an active Just Giving page if you still wish to donate.
As always with events like these there are many volunteers to thanks – primarily Corni for the main tournament organisation but also Sally-Ann for her supporting role. This included finding a replacement band at short notice for the Saturday night after the original one was hit by Covid. And a big thanks to Ann who helped out on the Saturday afternoon.
Here’s Corni’s diary-style report below:
champions Ian Mitchell & Greg Balfour-Evans
runners up Kingdom Arthur & Leonardo Fiorini
best performers Paul Thomas & Harold Wate
match of the day Kingdom Arthur & Leonardo Fiorini vs Alan Hall & Clive Mitchell
SATURDAY, 9TH APRIL
11:30 AM – DRAW & EVENT KICK OFF
32 tennis enthusiasts of all ages, gender, and abilities arrive at the club. Handicaps are being confirmed. Special note goes to Alan Hall, master of draw.
12:00 PM – FIRST ROUND
First matches are being played under the glorious sun. No wind, perfect weather for tennis. No major surprises.
2:00 PM – PIZZA FEAST
Energy levels are being replenished. 10 double decker pizzas delivered for everyone’s enjoyment.
4:30 PM – SECOND ROUND
Things are heating up. Watching a very close match. Kevin & Pauline vs. Alan & Clive starting 30-15. Latter pair wins but such a good tennis
9:00 PM – LIVE MUSIC PART 1
After plans going awry just few days ago due to Covid, Sally-Ann magically managed to source a great band, Solace. Pool, darts, and tennis players having few drinks. Dancing ring is under assault.
10:15 PM – RAFFLE
Gosh, never thought reading out winning numbers is such a hard work. Sally-Ann excelled in sourcing raffle prizes including rugby tickets and free coaching sessions. Thanks to all prize donors and club tennis coaches.
10:45 – LIVE MUSIC PART 2
Solace band rhythms are filling the air again. Energy and fun. That’s all folks, we are just after midnight and time to go to sleep.
SUNDAY, 10TH APRIL
12:00 PM – SEMI-FINALS
Top 4 pairs are preparing to enter the courts. Few other members are ready to enjoy the games. Social players just coming off the courts are joining the crowd. Setting up the kettle for an early tea/coffee and bringing out the nibbles and chocolate cakes. Ann is there helping; she was my guardian angel for last couple of days. Thank you, Ann!
2 PM – CHALLENGER CUP FINAL
Time to watch the finals. Amaury and Yixin just finished 2 large KFC buckets, Elias is sipping the beer and Ann got her long-standing friends along. The handicap (15-0) is not easy to overcome, and first set go to tie break. Second set is on the toss, but Ian & Greg takes it to seal the first place.
4 PM – CLOSING CEREMONY
Applause, and smiling faces under shining sun. Challenger Cup founds a home (or two) until next year. Thank you everyone for your generous donations and support.
Photos from the weekend are below: