A dozen local secondary schools will compete in the first Budgen Motors touchtennis tournament at The Shrewsbury Club during next month's $10,000 Aegon GB Pro-Series professional women's tennis event.
The teams which manage to progress through to the final will have the exciting opportunity to play in front of a big crowd ahead of the singles final of the Aegon tournament on Saturday, November 12.
Pictured: Simon Haddleton, the director of tennis at The Shrewsbury Club, with tournament referee Nikki Hoy and the winners of the eight and under singles event at this week's LTA-backed tournament, from left: Olivia Houlston, Bella Burton, Sam Spiby and Freddie Salisbury, who all train at The Shrewsbury Club.
Around 500 spectators watched the last Aegon final at The Shrewsbury Club in February, with similar numbers expected this time to enjoy the finale of the popular women's event, which starts with the qualifying rounds on November 6.
Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said there was much excitement at adding a touchtennis tournament for local teenagers to the week's schedule.
He added: "We've invited 12 local schools to take part. As well as having the chance to represent their schools, the pupils will be able to watch some top quality professional tennis featuring players who will go on to become big names. World No 1 Angelique Kerber is just one of many stars to have played in an Aegon tournament at The Shrewsbury Club in the past.
"It will be exciting for the pupils from local schools to play in front of a big crowd in the touchtennis final on our show court. We are looking forward to hosting the tournament and welcoming the young players to The Shrewsbury Club.
"We are again very grateful to Budgen Motors, the local car dealership, for their help in enabling us to stage this event. They provide excellent support for our successful schools' tennis programme."
A relatively new version of tennis using smaller courts and rackets, but bigger, softer balls, the idea of touchtennis is to remove the raw power of standard tennis and focus more on accuracy, tactics and rallies. It's now so popular it's played as far away as Australia and even has its own masters and grand slam tournaments.
The Shrewsbury Club, meanwhile, is hosting a tennis tournament during half term this week, an LTA-backed grade three tournament featuring more than 200 youngsters from around the Midlands.
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