SOUTH WALES YOUNGSTERS IN MINI TENNIS SUCCESS

29 Jun 2009

Young tennis players from Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen and South Powys were among the winners as the top players from primary schools across South Wales came together for their big events of the year.

The South Wales Mini Tennis Schools finals took place in Port Talbot and Cardiff, featuring more than 350 children in school teams from 11 different local authority areas.

The youngsters qualified for the finals through 33 local play-off events throughout South Wales which were this year, for the first time, run by Sports Council for Wales ‘Active Young People’ staff, based in each of the local authorities, in partnership with some of their local tennis coaches and the teachers all helping out with scoring the matches.

These 33 different events involved 80 different schools entering 401 teams, with a total of 1604 children competing.

The Mini Tennis Red finals (for year 3 and below) were at Afan Lido, Port Talbot; and the Orange (for year 5 and below) and Green (for year 6 and below) finals at David Lloyd Centre, Cardiff.

The events featured players from: Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Carmarthen, Bridgend and a school from South Powys who qualified through the Monmouthshire compettion.

After further group competitions on finals day, the winners progressed to knock-out semi-finals and final. Final results were:

Green boys: Rhiwbina, Cardiff beat Ysgol Glan Cleddau, Pembrokeshire, 5-1; Green girls: Rhiwbina beat Evenlode, Vale of Glamorgan, 5-1; Green mixed: Llangynidr, South Powys, beat St Andrews, Vale of Glamorgan 5-1.

Orange girls: Newton Primary, Swansea beat Raglan Primary, Monmouthshire, 4-0; Orange boys: Rhiwbina Primary, Cardiff beat St Michael’s School, Carmarthenshire, 4-0; Orange mixed: Llangynidr Primary, beat Rhydypenau Primary, Cardiff on points after a 3-3 draw.

Red girls: Ysgol Glan Cleddau, Pembrokeshire beat Cantref Primary, Monmouthshire, 5-1; Red boys: St Michael’s, Carmarthenshire beat Albert Primary, Vale of Glamorgan, 6-0; Red mixed: St Michael’s beat Lakeside Primary, Cardiff, 4-2.

.Mini Tennis gives players, aged 10 and under, the chance to enjoy the fun of competitive tennis. They play in teams of four – boys, girls and mixed – at three levels, according to age and ability.

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These are modified versions of the full game, on smaller courts with slower balls and small rackets. As children get older, the court and racket sizes increase and the balls get bouncier!

"These grass root competitions have raised the awareness of tennis at a local level, and we hope more local authorities will come on board in 2010 to allow more schools a local opportunity to participate," said Julie Williams, Tennis Wales Tennis Development Manager (South Wales).

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"The events cater for a wide range of standards, from children playing their first ever tennis match, others who are members of tennis clubs and those who are training at one of South Wales’ satellite performance clubs," she added.

"For some, the opportunity to represent their school as part of a team, and showcase their talent in their chosen sport, is a great confidence boost to the individuals who may not excel in other areas.

"The other big asset is that independent schools are up against tiny rural schools and the teachers like to see how their pupils measure up, as well as an opportunity for staff and pupils to mix with others who come from different backgrounds."

The Schools Mini Tennis competition is run by Tennis Wales, the governing body for tennis in Wales.

To see detailed results from all the South Wales finals http://www.lta.org.uk/In-Your-Area/Wales/schools/

Information on these events and on all aspects of tennis in Wales is available from Tennis Wales at 029 20 463335 or www.tenniswales.org.uk