Two young Northumbrian tennis players will have the opportunity to compete on the world famous grass courts of Wimbledon next month. Sam Knowles, of Tynemouth and Emily Allison from Ponteland will compete at the All England Club next week after emerging victorious in the county Road to Wimbledon event.
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon event is the biggest annual recreational junior tournament in British Tennis, offering young players aged 11-14 the opportunity to rise through the ranks of their club and county before qualifying for the national finals. 11 year old Sam & 13 year old Emily won their respective club events at Cullercoats Tennis Club and Cramlington Community Tennis before competing in the county finals at The Northumberland Club in Newcastle.
Sam Knowles, a pupil at Kings Priory School in Tyne & Wear first picked up a racquet at the tender age of 2 years old, hitting the ball like a hockey ball until he successfully got it over the net. Sam played four matches in the club stage of the event followed by another two in the county final to win the opportunity to represent Northumberland at SW19. ‘Sam is very excited – he just loves tennis and is excited to see Wimbledon from a new perspective’ said Sam’s mum, Rachel.
Emily Allison, who has just left Ponteland Middle School and will start at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle in September has played tennis since the age of 7. Emily trains regularly at David Lloyd in Sunderland as well as the Northumberland Club. Emily played two matches in both the club and county events, successfully seeing off competition from her teammates. ‘Emily played some good matches against her friends who she knows from training’ explained dad, Steve. ‘She is very excited to play at Wimbledon and looking forward to making the most of the experience regardless of the results’.
Both Emily & Sam will now head to London for a school summer holiday to remember. The national finals take place at Wimbledon from 14-19th August. All finalists will receive a special Wimbledon souvenir, an invitation to the Players Party, a Wimbledon museum voucher, a tour of the grounds and an allowance for accommodation and meals. Wimbledon will play host to over 350 matches during finals week with a singles round robin leading to a knock out draw plus doubles. The latest news about the competition can be found here: www.lta.org.uk/competitions/junior/road-to-wimbledon
For more information please contact:
Suzzi Garnett – Regional Tennis Services Assistant – Suzanne.email@example.com – 0208 487 7040
• The HSBC Road to Wimbledon tournament is the biggest junior tournament in British Tennis and gives all 14 and under players the opportunity to progress through to compete on the world famous grass courts at Wimbledon.
• Local clubs, parks and schools are all encouraged to stage a tournament for their members/pupils rated 10.2 to 7.1 or unrated. For players rated 6.2 or higher there is the HSBC Road to Wimbledon International event.
• The HSBC Road to Wimbledon has been staged since 2002 crowning 14 girls and boys Road to Wimbledon champions.
• The Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) mission is to get more people playing tennis more often, and its role is to develop, promote and govern tennis in Britain.
• For more information on the LTA and the work of British Tennis visit www.lta.org.uk.