Last year more than 120 members of Great Missenden Lawn Tennis Club enjoyed time with former world ranked tennis stars, Danny Sapsford (who reached a ranking of 170) and Luke Milligan (217). Working with the charity ‘Bright Ideas For Tennis’, they held an intensive programme starting at 10.30. First on were the Club’s mixed first team, who enjoyed a lively and instructional ‘loosener’ before their County Final match in the afternoon.
With the assistance of Club coach, Luke du Casse, the programme continued with attention being given to sessions with the juniors, split into under 14 and under 18 age groups. In both, the main emphasis was on the consistency of ground strokes. The fourth and fifth sessions were for adults – team members, and players of all standards, concentrating on volleying and interceptions at the net.
The final hour was taken up with high quality, light hearted, exhibition matches: first, the Club’s Ladies Doubles champions, Sophie Bell and Catherine Santamaria, partnered Danny and Luke respectively, followed by Men’s team members, Tor Stockdale and Andy Fyfe.
In addition to the tennis there were other events including the fastest service, where 7 years old, Ciara Stockdale’s 37 mph serve, and Will Gibson’s, 86 mph, won junior prizes.
Many thanks to Rowan and Andy Fyfe for arranging the day, both Danny and Luke said how enjoyable it had been, and hoped the money raised (£800) would help the club with future plans, and encourage tennis in the local community. They would like to return next year, when they can expect an even greater welcome from GMLTA tennis enthusiasts and other clubs, as the positive messages they promote get a wider circulation.
Danny Sapsford will be playing tennis for 24hrs in February for his annual Bright Ideas fundraiser. He will do this at the NTC, Roehampton, and is looking for 12 clubs to take part. Each club can raise funds for themselves (for a specific project such as floodlights). Last year they funded 3 practice walls as a result of the fund raising, and contributed to floodlights, and new courts. If GMLTC is keen to take part in 2015, he will gladly provide more information, which can be found on the ‘Bright Ideas For Tennis website.