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Anyone for tennis?

I’m very excited about writing a blog. I’ve been working on the Save the Children Community Tennis event for the past 4 years and it’s incredible to witness its journey progress to blogging!

So let me introduce myself. My name’s Jenny Main and I am the volunteer responsible for organising the adult and junior tournaments in the North of England. It’s a pretty broad area, covering everything from Hull to Carlisle.

The tournament in the North has grown in stature each year, from its humble starting position 4 years ago with a mere handful of tournaments to where we are today with approximately 100 children taking part throughout the North. This growth has been incredibly well supported by a number of teachers whose enthusiasm gives us so much to look forward to each year.

The North has great pedigree – in 2008 our adults did us proud by bringing the crown back up the M1, a title we had fought gallantly for in previous years, regularly getting to the final. In 2007 the Wallace sisters representing the North won the junior tournament, playing tennis which was so beautiful I was lost for words (and extremely jealous!).

However, it isn’t simply the winning which motivates me to run these tournaments. My favourite moment had to be in 2006, when the winner of the North Regional Final was presented with her certificate and was asked to represent our region at the National Finals at Wimbledon. She broke down and cried – it was her birthday and she had just received the best present of her life.

It is fantastic to see these children take part in a tournament, raising money for a charity I believe so strongly in. When we have meetings at Head Office, it is always reassuring to know what is being done with the money raised through these tournaments. 84p out of every pound raised goes towards helping children, a sum I imagine most people will find incredible. Running the tennis tournaments feels right in so many different ways – the children taking part thoroughly enjoy themselves, they play tennis against people they wouldn’t have otherwise had an opportunity to meet (and at incredible venues) and they raise money for an amazing charity, one which is focussed on improving the lives of children throughout the world.

So on to 2009. There is a large junior championships being held at my tennis club this week – so I’ll be up there, talking to the children and parents, encouraging them to get involved in a tournament which is fun, competitive and above all, raises money to protect children worldwide.

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