December in Pictures | 2021

Things started looking very festive at the club

50+ Christmas lunch

Coaches sporting Christmas jumpers for the last squads of the term

December meet-up of the 5K Your Way – Move Against Cancer group

Christmas Tennis Camps on court

Birthday party with coach Ben

Post Christmas run around for the 50+ and Mixed Morning players

Year in Review | 2021

Happy New Year from all the team at Totally Tennis. The coaching team are looking forward to welcoming everyone back on court to get 2022 off to a fit and healthy start.

There’s no doubt that 2021 was another challenging year but there are still plenty of highlights to look back on. While the UK was in another lockdown for the first three months of the year we offered advice on how to keep fit and active at home.

The end of March saw things start to get back to normal with the re-opening of the outdoor courts under guidelines established by the LTA and the government. Numbers were limited and social distancing rules applied but it was still great to be back on court. Our adult Mixed Morning restarted outdoors and our coaches were available for individual lessons. Adult Drills was next to resume followed by Wednesday Match Practice and from mid April too adult courses were also available.

Another big step towards normality was holding junior Easter Tennis Camps and then our popular Junior Squads also restarted. Coach education courses were kick started with coach and international speaker Mike Barrell from Evolve9 holding the Court Warrior Workshop at the indoor centre in association with UCoach. Our used tennis balls don’t go to waste, the dogs at the local Boardwalkers were very pleased with their delivery.

May saw exciting news for the local tennis community as, after two seasons of being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Basingstoke and District Tennis League Summer 2021 season restarted with Totally Tennis fielding teams in the Men’s and Mixed leagues. Half term junior tennis camps were also held for our younger players.

In June, Coach Ben started running the LTA Youth Start starter courses for juniors at the newly refurbished Stratton Park courts in Kempshott. The 6 week sessions were designed to introduce children to tennis in a fun and relaxed environment.

By July both the indoor and outdoor courts were being well used and the club was back to feeling like a hive of activity. Coach Isla completed her LTA level 2 and LTA Level 1 candidates also graduated with UCoach at the indoor centre. We began hosting Basingstoke 5K Your Way – Move Against Cancer at the club after their monthly Park-runs.

Sport in Mind, the UK charity that uses sport and physical activity to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems, offered free weekly tennis sessions at the club in August in partnership with the NHS for anyone suffering. We also restarted our fun Tennis Tots sessions teaching preschoolers agility, balance, co-ordination and speed skills. We kept everyone hydrated with the launch of Jude’s ice cream for dogs and humans, the perfect way to keep cool during the summer months.

The start of the new school year in September also meant the start of our new squad term for our junior players. We hosted our annual charity tennis and coffee in support of the Macmillan ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ campaign raising over £100 in the process.  We also welcomed assistant coach Kie to the coaching team and a new girls squad was introduced to the schedule with coach Isla.

October saw the start of the winter season of the Basingstoke and District Tennis League with Totally Tennis entering four teams: Men’s A, Mixed A and B and Ladies A.

We welcomed two more coaches to the team, LTA level 3 coach Kevin and performance player turned LTA level 2 coach Harry. Assistant coach Isla won the AOC South East Regional Girls Singles title at the regional tournament that took place at the indoor centre. Isla, who was representing Queen Mary’s College (QMC) will now compete in the National Finals in 2022.

Coach Ben Haley was all set to take to the sky to raise money for Dorset Mind but the weather had other ideas and his charity skydive will now take place in April 2022. We also hosted the South-East Regional AOC Doubles competition at the Indoor Centre. Former Totally Tennis performance player and now coach Simon James ran a Year 5 & 6 tournament for Sherfield School against Embley School.

Things started to look very festive in December. We put up the tree, decorated the indoor centre with lights and held our annual 50+ Christmas lunch. The coaches wore their Christmas jumpers to junior squad sessions. The indoor centre was busy with Christmas Tennis Camps, a tennis birthday party and post-Christmas adult sessions.

Thanks for all your support in 2021.

November in Pictures | 2021

Coach Isla represented QMC and won the AOC South-East regional singles competition held at the indoor centre (Isla pictured with runner-up Anna Vinnel)

The Mixed A team (L to R Harry, Claire, Isla & Nari) beat Stratton Park 7-1

The South-East Regional AOC Doubles competition was held at the Indoor Centre

From performance player to coach, Harry joins the coaching team

UCoach tutor Steve delivered a weekend of coach education

Meet Mitsi, one of our regular Mixed Morning players

Lucas supporting Children in Need in his squad session

The pupils at Winklebury Infants enjoyed their sessions with coaches Kevin and Harry

Coach Ben on court with the LTA Youth Sunday morning Indians squad players

Coaches Kevin and Harry delivering school sessions at the indoor centre

Our Mixed Morning players (above and below) enjoying a well earned post session beverage

The November meet-up of the 5K Your Way – Move Against Cancer group

A draw for the Mixed B team (L to R Elvira, Michael, Steve & Sandra) at home against Aldermaston B

Former TT performance player and now coach Simon James run a Year 5 & 6 tournament for his Sherfield School players against Embley School

Coach Isla (Second left) will represent QMC and the South-East region along with Doubles champions Anna and Martyna and Tillie (who was 3rd in the singles but goes through as Anna was the runner-up) in the AOC National Finals to be held in Nottingham next year

Christmas Is Coming | 2021

Do you want your child to burn off some energy and have a fantastic time this coming Christmas school holidays? Need some extra time for that last minute Christmas shopping while your children are entertained? For a healthy and challenging alternative, the Totally Tennis Festive Tennis Camps are a great way for juniors to improve their skills and fitness while making new friends.

This year we are running two Christmas camps at the indoor centre on Tuesday 21st and Thursday 23rd December from 9:30 until 12:30pm. Camps are recommended for children aged 4 to 11 years with skill levels from beginner through to improver. The cost is £15 per player per session.

To book Tuesday 21st December visit

clubspark.lta.org.uk/TotallyTennisBasingstoke/Coaching/Camp?courseID=828f89d6-285f-4929-9ff0-e920a5ba7dc7

To book Thursday 23rd December visit

clubspark.lta.org.uk/TotallyTennisBasingstoke/Coaching/Camp?courseID=28e7f9dd-7ddf-4d89-aca0-589be1762da0

The scheme has received OFSTED accreditation and the sessions are run by experienced Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) qualified and licensed coaches.

For more information telephone 01256 358815. Sessions numbers are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Coach Profile | Harry Feast

HARRY FEAST

Coaching Qualification:  LTA Level 2

How old were you when you first started playing tennis?

4 years old

How were you introduced to the sport?

I went to a holiday camp

What made you come to work at Totally Tennis?

It was a good price and good facilities

Who is your favourite professional tennis player?

Juan Martin Del Potro

What do you like most about coaching tennis?

Watching players improve thanks to my advice

How often do you coach?

6 days a week

Do you play any other sport?

I enjoy all sports

What is your greatest achievement in tennis so far?

Winning tournaments

Isla Wins AOC South-East Regional Singles Title 

Isla Hignett represented the Queen Mary’s College (QMC) tennis team, who train at Totally Tennis, in the AOC South East Regional Singles tournament that was played at the indoor centre last week. Both the boys and the girls draws were round robin groups, with the top two players progressing to the semi-finals. There were eleven players competing in the event and six girls.

In the girls’ competition, Hignett, who is also an assistant coach at the club, won through the group stage without dropping a game against players from Farnborough and Peter Symonds Colleges. Hignett was joined by top seed Anna Vinnell from Barton Percival who had also won both her group matches, along with former Totally Tennis team mate Tillie Reid and Issy Tivey. In the semi-final matches, Hignett beat Reid 4-0, 4-1 and Vinnell defeated Tivey 4-0, 4-0.  

In the final, Hignett broke serve early but was then broken back in the next game but that did not diminish her aim to go for every shot. She managed to challenge Vinnell in the rallies and close out points with numerous winning shots and after a great match she won the AOC South-East Regional Girls singles title.

QMC sports teacher and tennis coordinator Sarah Goldson said, “It was an assured and confident performance from Isla which was great to see given her lack of recent match experience.” she added, “A great win for QMC that sees us represented in the tennis competition at next year’s National Finals.” 

In the boy’s competition the matches played out as expected with the four top seeds winning fairly comfortably in the group stage. In Group A, top seed Raffaello Papajcik from Esher College was easily the highest rated player at 1.1. He only needed one win against Thomas Pollard (BHASVIC) as there was a no show in that group.

In Group B, Dan Micklefield from Peter Symonds won the group after beating Edward Rockall 4-1, 4-2 and Matt Tarling 4-0, 4-0. Group C was more closely contested with the initial match in the group being the deciding one. Aaron Butcher from Chichester defeated Kyrill Kennett from Peter Symonds 4-3(1), 0-4, 10-8 and both players beat Dan McTear.

In Group D second seed Barney Brown from Farnborough came through relatively comfortably defeating Leon Gibson 4-0, 4-0 and Billy Moon 4-0, 4-0. In the semi-finals, the matches produced some excellent tennis at this stage of the competition with the top two seeds tested but both came through with the loss of just a few games. In the final, Papajcik eventually got to grips with the powerful serving of Brown and was able to dictate more of the rallies from the baseline eventually winning 4-2, 4-2.   

Goldson said, “The level of tennis was excellent in this match and was certainly the biggest test for top seed Papajcik. It was an impressive win for Esher College. Sadly, QMC was not represented in the boys’ competition due to an injury to our entrant.” she continued, “It was great to see the competition return after a gap last year and although some of the players said they had not competed very much in the past year, there were some who were definitely back to regular tournament participation.”

AoC Sport, formed following the merger of British Colleges Sport, English Colleges FA and the Association of Colleges sport policy team, is the membership organisation for colleges, leading the development of sport and physical activity in 16+ education. Sport and physical activity are essential components of college life, giving students significant advantages in education, employment and health. The AoC vision is for every college student to participate regularly in sport or physical activity and their purpose is to promote, support and deliver college sport and physical activity.

Coach Ben Skydiving to Raise Money for Dorset Mind Charity

Coach Ben Haley is taking to the sky to raise money for Dorset Mind. On Friday 12th November, Haley will be taking part in a group skydive in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the mental health charity based in Dorset.

This is the charity’s biggest ever skydive event with 75 people including Haley taking on the epic challenge to raise money for Dorset Mind.

Haley said “I have been through many challenges in my life and I feel like its time to do something to help other people with the struggles they face day to day. We often try and face these things alone and we should try and face them together by helping each other through tough stages of our lives.” He added, “It is time to help each other. That is why I am doing a skydive for a charity called Dorset Mind as they are focused on helping other people with mental health problems.”

If you would like to follow Haley’s charitable skydiving adventure and make a donation please visit his JustGiving fundraising page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-haley1

The charity offers people who are suffering the counselling that they need to help them through tough times. Counselling is more desperately needed than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has driven suicide rates even higher than ever. Any donation however big or small is well received and every penny counts.

Dorset Mind educate, challenge mental health stigma and help people recover from mental health difficulties by providing safe support and information services for people to help them in their own recovery. Visit our website dorsetmind.uk

October Adult Team Round-Up | Basingstoke and District Winter Tennis League

It was a great start to the winter season of the Basingstoke & District Tennis League for the Totally Tennis adult teams with three wins, one draw and one loss last month.

The Mixed B team (L to R Harry, Sandra, Chris & Mike) kicked the season’s fixtures off with a great win against 5-3 win in their away match against Whitchurch B.

The Men’s A team (featured in both photos of Harry, Nari, Kav & Jamie) secured two home wins to get their season off to a flying start. In their first match of the month the team beat Riseley A 7-1 and then repeated the scoreline in their second match against Stratton Park.

The Mixed B team (L to R Sandra, Harry Michael & Elvira) were unlucky in their away match against David Lloyd Newbury.

The ladies team (L to R Sandra, Clare, Claire & Sarah) recorded a draw in their first home match of the season against Whitchurch.

There are two leagues a year, with a winter season running from October to March and a summer season that runs from May to September. Good luck to all our teams for the rest of the winter season.

October in Pictures | 2021

It was a new term for the Tennis Tots with coach Kie

First won of the season for our Mixed B team (L to R Harry, Sandra, Chris & Mike) with a 5-3 victory against Whitchurch B

50+ plus session with coach Nari

Tennis birthday parties are the best fun!

Convincing 7-1 win for the Men’s A team (L to R Harry, Nari, Kav & Jamie) at home against Riseley A

Coach Ben (above & below) on court having fun with the LTA Youth players at Stratton Park

A tough away loss for the Mixed B team (L to R Sandra, Harry, Micheal and Elvira) against David Lloyd Newbury

Our coaching team are ready to welcome you to the indoor courts throughout the Autumn and Winter months

It was a home draw for the Ladies team (L to R Sandra, Clare, Claire & Sarah) against Whitchurch

Second win of the month for the Men’s team (L to R Jamie, Nari, Harry & Kav) with a 7-1 victory against Stratton Park

Our Mixed Morning players enjoying their sessions

We hosted the local 5K Your Way – Move Against Cancer group after their monthly event

We welcomed coach Kevin Tucker to the coaching team

Coach Profile | Kevin Tucker

KEVIN TUCKER

Coaching Qualification:  LTA Level 3

How old were you when you first started playing tennis?

11 years old

How were you introduced to the sport?

Watching it on TV

What made you come to work at Totally Tennis?

Bigger venue and to progress my skills and coaching

Who is your favourite professional tennis player?

Pat Rafter

What do you like most about coaching tennis?

Smiles on the players faces

How often do you coach?

6 days a week

Do you play any other sport?

Golf

What is your greatest achievement in tennis so far?

Doing my Level 3 coaching qualification