Enthusiastic young players savour a taste of competition
Despite the disruption to training at the start of the tennis season, junior players have proved competitive spirit remains high in the Scottish Borders.
Lesley Thomas and Kate Bull, of L&K Tennis, annually run a tournament with events for girls of all ages, sponsored by the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm.
However, this year, they wanted to give all players the chance to compete on their doorstep and decided to run events for both boys and girls.
In conjuction with Tennis Scotland and Tennis Borders, they devised an impressive schedule over four weekends which would cater for all age groups from 8U up to 16U.
The first two weekends saw the girls’ events take place at Kelso Orchard Tennis Club, with events for six age groups running over the course of the four days.
The following two weekends saw a change of location, with five events for boys held at the Borders Tennis Centre in Galashiels.
There was great enthusiasm for all events, which saw over 100 entries.
Players attended from the Borders, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway.
It was a great chance for the locals to compete against players from other areas and put their hard work at training into practice.
Tennis was lucky to be one of the first sports back after lockdown, thanks to the ability to socially distance on court.
Borders players have been back training since June and were ready to compete again and enjoy the atmosphere that comes with taking part in a contest on home ground.
Throughout the events, players and parents socially distanced, with the clubhouses set up to cater accordingly.
The safety of the players, coaches, referees and parents was of paramount importance to the organisers, who made sure all guidelines were adhered to throughout.
Kate and Lesley thanked Mike Cohen, of Tennis Scotland, Jonny Adamson, Lewis Watt and Andrew Milligan for their help on the day, umpiring the younger players’ matches and helping to get the courts ready to play.
It’s planned to incorporate more competition into the calendar and give the players more opportunities to compete at home in the Borders.
“While it is difficult in the autumn and winter months because of the lack of indoor facilities in the Borders, we will try our best to offer competitions when we can,” said Lesley and Kate. “It’s just a case of adapting and rearranging where necessary.”