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Youngsters serve an ace at tennis tournament for schools

Youngsters from the winning school, Sawley Junior in Long Eaton, who were crowned tennis champions and will now go on to compete at the Derbyshire Summer Games.
Youngsters from the winning school, Sawley Junior in Long Eaton, who were crowned tennis champions and will now go on to compete at the Derbyshire Summer Games.

It was game, set and match for primary school pupils who enjoyed a tennis tournament organised by the Erewash School Sport Partnership.

Youngsters from Hallam Fields and Chaucer Junior in Ilkeston, Sawley Junior in Long Eaton and Ashbrook Junior in Borrowash made it to the final of the event which was held at Kirk Hallam Community Academy.

The winners were Sawley, who will now compete at the Derbyshire Summer Games event on Tuesday, July 11.

Organiser Jack Steggles hailed the tennis competition as a great success. “It was played indoors and the children used very soft sponge balls on courts narrower than usual,” he said. “They really enjoyed taking part and, hopefully, they were inspired to play more tennis.”

Nine-year-old Lucas Redfern, from Chaucer Junior School, felt proud to make the final. He said: “I do love playing tennis and I play it at school. I like it because it’s just one on one and if you lose, you’ve got no-one else to blame but yourself.”

Gary Smith, a teacher at Chaucer, said taking part in the tennis competition had improved his pupils’ confidence, while Rhian Lilley, the partnership’s development manager, said she hoped the competition would inspire more youngsters to give tennis a go, either at school or at a local club.

“We’ve had some great feedback,” she said. “Maybe we’ll see one of the youngsters playing at Wimbledon in future!”