Grassroots tennis stars of the future

Joseph Norford
Joseph Norford

It was game, set and match for budding tennis ace Joseph Norford who picked up his own Wimbledon trophy at the weekend.

Joseph, aged seven, won the Under 8s mini Wimbledon championships at the David Lloyd Centre – after also picking up the mini French Open title last month.

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Joseph, a pupil at Swallowfield School in Woburn Sands, started playing tennis about 12 months ago, modelling himself on his hero, world number 1 Novak Djokovic.

He is one of 200 juniors on the books at David Lloyd which runs a tennis coaching programme for children aged from two-18.

And to celebrate the feelgood factor following Murray’s historic win at Wimbledon, the centre is opening its doors this weekend to non-members to encourage people to come along and have a go at playing tennis.

Kevin Hodges, junior rackets manager, said: “The open weekend is geared to adults who are welcome on Saturday and juniors, on Sunday, as long as they come with a friend, to play tennis.

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“Going forward we will also be contacting schools in the area to arrange taster sessions, whether that be using facilities at the schools or getting youngsters here at David Lloyd where we have a number of indoor courts to get youngsters interested in the sport.

“It’s something I’m keen on doing. I’ve also spoken to the chairman of the Bucks LTA, with the aim, in September, of organising a Britain’s Got Talent type of initiative, targeting five to six year olds.

“We will also be linking up with the county associations to build a squad of eight children who we feel have potential to develop further and play competitive tennis.”

Other winners in the mini Wimbledon competition included:seph Nor

> Under 8: Joseph Norford bt Paul Whyte

> Age 8-9: William Mottram bt Thomas Ladyman

> Age 10: Aaron Gratton bt Thomas Ross.