Richard Carter reports on the Southampton Junior Open and Fleming Park Open:
It was a pleasure to referee both the Southampton Junior and Fleming Park Opens from 24th July through to 5th August.
All events went smoothly and as per the schedule, and it was positively received by participants that age groups were given fixed days and times in advance. I was pleasantly surprised by the high standard of play throughout, and the positive atmosphere at both events from participants and parents alike. I saw many examples of excellent sportsmanship and camaraderie amongst competitors.
It was of course massively disappointing that the low, or often non-existent, number of girls entering events lead to all competitions being cancelled, however, I am happy with the total number of participants overall: Southampton Junior Open - 73; Fleming Park Junior Open - 43; In addition, it was also satisfying to see 16 men playing highly competitive but friendly tennis at the Fleming Park Senior Open, and also 7 children new to competition taking part in the first ever Challenge Shield at the Southampton Junior Open.
I am delighted that we have found a way to offer events that satisfy demand from both higher-standard and less experienced competitors.
Richard Carter, Tournament Referee.