Teams of young players from Wellington, Bishop’s Lydeard, Trull and Wiveliscombe Tennis Clubs competed both with one another and torrential showers in Wellington Tennis Club’s annual Red and Orange Ball Tournament.
Designed to introduce children to competitive tennis, the Red Ball tournament makes use of a slower ball on half a court using a mini net. Each of the 4 players in each team was seeded and played against the same seed from the other teams – the winner being the first to score 10 points. Chair of Wellington Tennis Club, Sue Rackley, said, “There were some great rallies where children showcased their skills. Bishop’s Lydeard won the Red tournament with some consistent play.”
The Orange Ball tournament is designed for slightly older children who play on almost a full court. Again, players were seeded and played 3 or 4 matches each lasting ten minutes. The tournament ended in playoffs between 4 children who had won all their matches. Wellington ‘A’ team won the Orange Tournament overall with both Jonathan Thorne and Molly Rickard winning all their matches. All the children entered received LTA certificates.
Sue Rackley added, “Coaching is necessary and good fun but, ultimately, most children enjoy the competitive aspect of the game so our coach incorporates monthly matchplay into our coaching program to maintain their interest.”
Sue paid tribute to Philippa and Reg Deem who prepared the courts and to Somerset LTA committee member, John Barrington, Chair of Trull Tennis Club, for creating the timetable of tournaments, liaising with clubs and running the competitions. She said, “John also organises the 12U, 14U and 17U Junior League match schedules and collates results to enable children’s rankings to increase. This is an incredible amount of work. We are so grateful for all his dedication to tennis in this part of Somerset.”