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Team Toon Rise Up Rankings At 2016 National Tennis Competition

Newcastle United Foundation finished second in this year’s Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) National Tennis Competition.

The event was held at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton and included 19 teams from across the Country. An amazing achievement for the Newcastle based players who narrowly missed out to the defending Champions, Stoke in the final.

The team included 5 students who had been selected following regular tennis sessions at Walker Technology College. The sessions are run through the PL4S programme, in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation.

It was the third time Newcastle United had competed at the annual competition, where teams of five aged between 14 and 16 played touchtennis in round robin stages, before progressing to the quarter-finals and beyond. It was an incredible experience and result for the young people, particularly with the majority of them only picking up a racket recently.

The 2016 Premier League season was one of the most memorable in history, providing the highest quality of sporting entertainment and drama as teams battled it out to take the title and Thursday morning was equally enjoyable to watch!

Hosted in partnership by the LTA and the Premier League Communities team on the prestigious hard courts at the NTC, Leicester City put up a valiant effort to match their football club heroes, but in the end Stoke came out on top by overcoming Portsmouth in the quarter finals, Swansea in the semi’s and Newcastle United in the final showdown.

The competition was all the more of an experience for the youngsters on the day for the presence of former England star and Premier League Ambassador Graeme Le Saux, alongside recent Wimbledon hero and British tennis player Marcus Willis.

All the clubs that sent a team run tennis sessions in their local area through a network of satellite clubs, with a view to getting more young people playing tennis more often. It is through this PL4S programme that over 5,000 young people have been introduced to tennis since the partnership began in 2013.

After the competition had finished, the teams were lucky enough to visit Wimbledon for the afternoon, where they watched some world class tennis on display at The Championships.

Jane Kemp Hardy, PE Teacher at Walker Technology College said “I am so proud of our tennis team who are a credit to their school and to NUF. Over the last school year I have watched them improve so much as individual players which was evident at the competition. To come second out of 17 teams in a National competition says it all”

Carson Creighton who was part of the team added: “It was great to play against other clubs at such an amazing facility. I was so pleased we done well in the competition as we have all put a lot of hard into the training sessions. An added bonus was to get to go to Wimbledon where I got to see Venus and Serena in action”

Lisa Bell who is the Senior Project Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation commented:
“The PL4S programme reaches out to so many young people and it’s so rewarding to see the youngsters at Walker Technology College enjoying their tennis. What an absolute bonus for them to finish second at the National Competition…unforgettable and inspiring day. We want to say a massive thanks to the Walker Tech PE department, and Carlos Caldeira (Tennis Coach) for their unrelenting commitment to the programme!”

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