St Martha’s Primary win Norfolk School Games mini tennis title at UEA Sportspark
- Credit: Matt Potter
The Norfolk School Games Finals have concluded across a number of sports in the past week.
On the final day of competition, 128 year three and four pupils from 32 schools enjoyed a knock-out mini tennis event at UEA Sportspark, a record entry for this competition. All schools had qualified through level two School Sports Partnership events, which for many was their first experience of competitive tennis.
Although playing singles matches against their opposite number from opposing schools, with four players per team it was a team competition. This format also enabled each player to play five matches, with a total of over 300 matches being completed during the event.
The forward/backward draw enabled schools to continue competing against different schools and against schools at a similar level, before being placed one to 32. The final standings were as follows: 1 St Martha's Catholic, King's Lynn; 2 Catton Grove; 3 Little Plumstead. Hingham II finished 17th and winning the consolation plate.
Event organiser, Stuart Silvester, said: 'We were keen to open the event up to as many pupils as possible. At school games level we are not concerned about discovering the next Wimbledon champion, but if we can get numbers playing and steer them towards clubs and coaching programmes then we should be on the right track.'
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The event was supported by Norfolk LTA, with Chris Evans of Norwich Parks Tennis and Sam Howlett of Wymondham & Hingham Tennis volunteering to marshal the tennis halls.
Ex-Wimbledon and Davis Cup star Richard Bloomfield was on hand to present certificates for sportsmanship awards and the prizes for the top-.three placed teams and consolation winner.
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Bloomfield said: 'It was great to see so many young players enjoying competing against each other. There was a great atmosphere at the event which was really well organised. Hopefully we can fully engage the children now and get them into local coaching programmes.'
All competitors received a certificate and invitation to attend a Norfolk LTA Mini Tennis Roadshow, visiting Wymondham TC, Cromer TC, East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club and Eaton Park Tennis over the summer.