AC­TIVE REAL TEN­NIS COURTS IN THE UK

The Field - - Younger In The Field -

an­gle of the tam­bour was just right (52.7 de­grees) and, records Maltby, su­per­vis­ing through the night un­til 8am on Good Fri­day morn­ing when the con­crete floor was poured.

As if find­ing a suit­able lo­ca­tion and land­lord with the req­ui­site long-term view wasn’t enough, the dis­tinc­tive height of any build­ing that houses a real ten­nis court can cause the whole project to fall apart at the plan­ning per­mis­sion hurdle. At the end of all this, Maltby adds, “You need to be con­fi­dent you can run a vi­able club.” As with its Radley and Can­ford school coun­ter­parts, the new Welling­ton court of­fers not just a re­source for pupils but the wider com­mu­nity. Po­si­tioned within a sports com­plex that is open to the pub­lic, the club can tap into an ex­ist­ing base of 2,800 mem­bers, a good num­ber of whom are likely to be suf­fi­ciently cu­ri­ous to pick up a rac­quet and ven­ture onto the court.

Ready to welcome them – and any­one else who steps through the door – is Dan Jones, who joined Welling­ton last year as head pro­fes­sional of its real ten­nis court and im­me­di­ately threw him­self into the task of draw­ing up a com­pre­hen­sive man­age­ment plan to se­cure its future suc­cess. With par­tic­u­lar ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ing ju­nior pro­grammes, both at his pre­vi­ous club, Sea­court, and on a na­tional ba­sis with the Dedanists, Jones is ideally suited to in­spir­ing Welling­ton pupils and young lo­cal res­i­dents to em­brace his sport. “It’s open to all,” he em­pha­sises. “If I can get some­one on court, I’m fairly con­fi­dent I can get them to fall in love with it within 15 min­utes.” With any luck there’ll be plenty of peo­ple queu­ing up to put him to the test and, per­haps, even bet­ter, a future Bri­tish World Cham­pion.

*Read­ers of The Field are in­vited to try real ten­nis for them­selves with a free les­son and tour of the new court at Welling­ton. Con­tact Dan Jones at dpj@welling­ton­fit­ness.co.uk or call 01344 444244. Bris­tol

Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity

Can­ford School, Dorset

Falkland Palace, Fife

Hard­wick House, Berk­shire

Hat­field House, Hertfordshire Holy­port, Berk­shire

The Hyde, Dorset

Jes­mond Dene, Newcastle upon Tyne Leam­ing­ton, War­wick­shire

Lord’s, Lon­don

Manch­ester

Mid­dle­sex Uni­ver­sity, Hen­don More­ton Mor­rell, War­wick­shire New­mar­ket, Suf­folk

The Or­a­tory School, Berk­shire

Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity

Pet­worth House, West Sus­sex Prested Hall, Es­sex

The Queen’s Club, Lon­don

Radley Col­lege, Ox­ford­shire Hamp­ton Court, Sur­rey

Sea­court, Hamp­shire

* Welling­ton Col­lege, Crowthorne, Berk­shire (open­ing 2016)

Right: prac­tis­ing real ten­nis at Hamp­ton Court. Be­low, left to right: the Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity court; the court, and rac­quets, at Leam­ing­ton

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