hampshire's junior wimbledon

The only thing better than the weather on Tuesday 22nd June was the children’s Yogi Bear Shield Tennis Tournament.  Six out of 14 local infant schools qualified and took their teams to Manydown Tennis Centre in Wootton St. Lawrence for the annual finals day of the tournament sponsored by R.W. Armstrong & Sons.

Each team consisted of four children aged six to eight years on the Mini Tennis red courts. Group A consisted of Cheam, Home Farm and Priory with Daneshill, Sherfield and North Waltham in Group B.   The teams played their way through the first stage with all the young players showing great ability, skill and technique. After the first round, coming out on top in their Groups was Daneshill and Home Farm, beating last year's winners Cheam.

The final, played in front of over 100 spectators, was understandably a tense affair but that did not stop the children from performing at a very high level. Played over four rounds, Home Farm took the lead in the third round bringing the overall score to 17 -12 in favour of the Home Farm team of Ella Mitchell, Ned Hine, Samuel Ward and Jemima Attwood.

Home Farm team member, Ella Mitchell, said:  “It was the best day of my life, and I’ll never forget it!”.

The finals day is the culmination of six months tennis training and matches. Now in its sixth year the tennis programme ensures that each year over 1500 children in local junior schools get the best coaching and match play experience.

The afternoon ended with a players dinner and presentation in front of all the parents and supporters. Several players won individual awards and the Home Farm team picked up the coveted Yogi Bear Shield.  All the players received gifts and the younger children watching were given tennis key rings.

Bryan Farrelly, coaching director at Manydown Tennis said:  “The afternoon was a complete success due to the Manydown team, the sponsors R.W. Armstrong & Sons, the players and parents, not to mention the beautiful setting on a remarkable day.”