This week has seen some extraordinary action at Corby Tennis Centre, and the Lawn Tennis Association will be delighted when they hear what has been going on. On Tuesday 90 children turned up for the LTA Aegon National Mini Tennis Week promotion (photo attached). Leaflets had been dropped off at all the local primary schools, some of the centre staff had been leaflet dropping to certain areas, while Corby Council posted information on their social media network and the result was staggering.
At most venues, an Open Day usually brings around 30 new people through the door, but this free day saw 30 of the 90 children who came along sign up for tennis lessons on the spot. Because of the terrific uptake, the children were only able to have 30 minute spots available to them, but it obviously did the trick in terms of introducing them to the sport. With the primary aim of the LTA to grow participation in tennis this year, this is exactly the type of news they want from their national promotions. On the back of the success, the Tennis Foundation have agreed to help run an Open Day for everyone, which is being planned for the back end of July.
Then this weekend there was another hive of activity taking place at Corby Tennis Centre, when along with the UK MatchPlay event on Saturday, there was an Aegon 14U Team Tennis Premier League event taking place, and the County HSBC Road to Wimbledon as well as a hugely successful US Open Grand Slam for Red, Orange and Green players. This meant there were in the region of 150 players and parents at the Centre on Sunday alone.
In the Aegon Team Tennis, the Corby Team of Joe Tyler, James Caddies, Sam Smith and Henry Masters had an excellent win against Loughborough. All four boys won their singles matches in straight sets, including a great comeback from Henry as he had been trailing 2-5 in the second set, which he eventually won 7-5. The doubles pairs of Tyler & Caddies and Smith & Masters also won their doubles to complete a whitewash 6-0 win.
The same boys had also been in action at Corby on Saturday for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon, where Joe Tyler was the winner in the final against Sam Smith by a score line of 6-1 6-1, which was replicated in the girls final when Alexander Lewis beat Imogen Allen by the same score.
In the US Open Grand Slam, there was a record entry of 32 players in each event, which meant 96 children taking part over the three colours. Players came from all over the country, from as far afield as Suffolk, London, Ipswich, Lincs etc, which led to an exceptional standard of play. Of the local players who did really well, in the Red event was Robert Visor who came 3rd. In the Orange, Sam Underwood followed up his win at the French Open by coming 3rd, with Anraj Mahil 4th, and Joseph White finishing in the last 16. Finally in the Green event, Max Dyche came 4th, while other Corby players Henry Grayson and Elita Sillins got through to the last 16. The event was really well refereed by Tom Stephenson, and supported by Stephen Comber. The Centre lived up to its good reputation for staging these events, by dressing the lounge area up with all sorts of US flags and photos, and had Centre Manager Craig Haworth running the BBQ all day.