Dunmow tennis coach Ollie Clark is taking on a 24-hour tennis challenge in memory of his friend and fellow tennis coach Ollie Toms.

Ollie Toms, who lived in Saffron Walden, had emergency surgery for an undiagnosed heart condition on October 1, 2023, and sadly died from complications on October 6 - aged just 35.

In 2015, at age 26, Ollie Toms set up 'Ollie's Tennis', teaching players ranging from four to 85, and going on to teach tennis at Newport, Clavering and St Thomas More primary schools.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Ollie TomsOllie Toms (Image: Glenis Toms)

He was also club coach at Newport, Stansted and Much Hadham tennis clubs.

Friends and family described Ollie's "wonderful way with people", adding: "His affinity and popularity gained him many fans, young and old, and he was a huge part of his local community."

Following his death, Ollie was given a posthumous award by the Essex LTA to recognise his work in tennis throughout his life.

Ollie's friend, Ollie Clark, took on a previous 24-hour tennis endurance challenge last year, and vowed never to do so again.

However after hearing about the loss of his friend, he is now tackling the 'Ollie4Ollie' challenge to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in Ollie Toms' memory.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Ollie ClarkOllie Clark (Image: Courtesy of Ollie Clark)

The challenge will take place at Dunmow Leisure Centre on Friday, June 21 from 4pm through to 4pm on Saturday, June 22, as four was Ollie Toms' favourite number.

Ollie Clark will be playing with and against Ollie Toms' family members - including his wife, parents and brother Simon - at 4pm on the Friday, 4am on Saturday and for the final slot of 3pm to 4pm.


To support Ollie and help him reach his £3,500 target, go to https://www.justgiving.com/page/ollie4ollie.

On his fundraising page, Ollie Clark says: "Ollie was a hugely popular figure not just in the tennis world but also in everyone’s lives.

"It’s vital we remember and celebrate his life whilst raising awareness and funds to help and support others for the future.

"Let’s continue the legacy of this great man."

Members of the community are welcome to come along on the day and watch or take part in the event, and are asked to wear blue - Ollie's favourite colour - if possible.