Charleston: House Prefects at The European Beach Tennis Championships
During the Summer, myself, along with fellow Charleston House Prefect, Anouska Greenaway, attended the The European Beach Tennis Championships held in Brighton.
We volunteered to help in the process of setting up, running and closing the ceremony. It was a huge event which took a lot of thought and effort, however it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever been a part of.
The European Beach Tennis Championship was run by LTA, the beach tennis governing body, who also staged coaching workshops and tournaments, as this was the sixth edition of the European Championships.
The tournament included countries from Hungary, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Australia and many more. So by being a part of the event, myself and Anouska had the chance to talk to players from all different countries about beach tennis and why they love playing it.
It was a great way to get Beach Tennis known in England, and encourage younger participants to pick up the sport.
Beach Tennis is similar to Tennis but it is played on a sand surface. It is a similar size to a beach volleyball court, about 16m long x 8m wide. There is a net between the two courts which is 1.7m in height, and the only equipment you play with are paddle bats and low compressions balls, similar to tennis balls.
The scoring is exactly the same as in regular tennis, except with the permanent use of no-Advantage after Deuce.
The game itself is predominantly played between Doubles teams, although Singles can be played on a smaller court. The point is won if the ball hits the ground in the opposing court, or if opponents serve the ball out or into the net.
Not only did Anouska and I get to meet the players but the Mayor of Brighton also came down to the courts to check out the event. This was a great way to advertise the tournament, which also appeared on BBC News.
The event was run and hosted by Julie Salmon, the tennis coach at Bede's. Anouska and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and would encourage everyone to attend the Brighton Mixed Beach Tennis sessions on Sunday Mornings, which take place from 9-11am and are run by Beach Tennis UK.