World-class tennis comes to Walden

PUBLISHED: 12:17 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:17 20 March 2017

Former Davis Cup player Danny Sapsford coaching The Grove tennis club

Former Davis Cup player Danny Sapsford coaching The Grove tennis club

Archant

Two former Davis Cup players were putting members of The Grove tennis club in Saffron Walden through their paces on Saturday (March 18).

More than 80 tennis players, young and old, turned out to experience some world-class tennis coaching.

Former Davis Cup players, Danny Sapsford and Andrew Richardson put on three one hour sessions for players of different abilities before entertaining the crowd with a light-hearted exhibition match.

Both players career highlights include reaching the third round of Wimbledon.

Danny Sapsford now runs the charity, Bright Ideas for Tennis, travelling the country visiting community tennis clubs and sharing his enthusiasm for the game.

He said: “I’m so lucky to have a job I love. My county doubles partner has done rather well for himself in the city and has been generous enough to fund Bright Ideas.

“We’re up to about 150 clubs now that we’ve visited, and it is such a privilege to be able to visit different clubs and leave just a little bit of inspiration behind”.

Andrew Richardson, Head Pro at Suffolk’s Culford School, was also on hand to provide some world-class coaching.

Sapsford added: “What’s impressed me most about The Grove is the quality of players across all age ranges, from Juniors right up to the vets. “Normally there is a drop off of interest from the teenagers, but that doesn’t seem to have happened here and that’s a credit to the coaches.”

The former world-class players offered their coaching skills for free, meaning all the money raised from the day can go back in to funding the future of The Grove.

Assistant Coach, Tome Bowers, who organised the event, said he was very proud to have helped bring the special guests and their wisdom to the club.

Simon Howell, Chairman of The Grove Tennis Club, said: “It’s been so brilliant to see the youngsters so inspired today. We’ve had 3 generations on the court at the same time, from 5 up to 75.

“It bodes well for the next generation of club players coming through, and it should encourage anyone in the community who wants to play tennis to come down to the Grove and have a hit with us.”

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