A Day Spent At Wimbledon
Posted 28 Sep 2016
Give It Your Max
On Saturday 23rd September, one of our Academy players, Joe Fortnum-Adams, visited the All England Law Tennis Club as a guest of Give It Your Max along with three other children from different parts of the UK.
The tour guide for the day was Darren Stanford. Darren began his tennis career as a player on the AELTC’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative and learned to play tennis himself at Wimbledon. He was the perfect guide for the day, there's nothing about Wimbledon that he doesn't know, he has even been an official Wimbledon ball boy in the past.
Standing on Centre Court
Joe was given an access pass for the day and, together with the Give It Your Max kids, he was treated to a fantastic tour of the venue. The tour included a visit to all of the courts, including the Wimbledon clay courts which many people are completely unaware of due to the more well know grass courts. The kids were shown the trophy room (from behind a locked door!) and were allowed to spend some time on the main courts, including Centre Court. For Joe, visiting the most famous tennis court in the world was a huge privilege and it's his ambition to return one day as a player. Underneath Centre Court, Joe was shown the gym, ice bath rooms, dressing rooms and the players’ lounge.
After spending time visiting the courts and facilities, the group were shown where the pre and post match press conferences
take place, and all the children were encouraged to do their very own press conference! Joe said the microphone
‘boomed’ when he was talking and he really enjoyed discussing his own tennis career in the press area, answering questions
and talking about his own tennis ambitions. Joe can’t wait for Wimbledon 2017 so that he can say ‘I sat in that seat
in the press conference area’ – he is already wondering which players will sit there, hopefully some of the many fantastic
British players who are doing so well at the moment!
Competing at Junior Level
Darren Stanford took time to discuss Elena Baltacha with Joe and shared stories of his own experiences competing at junior level. Darren was clearly impressed with the Academy set up in Ipswich and told Joe how lucky he was to have Elena Baltacha's name on his shirt and the support of the EBAT team including Nino Severino and Jamie Friend. Joe picked up some great tips from Darren about how to improve his own game and hopes to put them into practise in future tournaments.
The highlight of Joe’s day was Centre Court, being on court and seeing the sheer scale of the spectator gallery really gave Joe a thrill. The scoreboard, the press area, Hawkeye and the umpires chair were all incredible, but it was seeing the Wimbledon 2016 Men’s Final score still up on the scoreboard that had the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end. Centre Court is an incredible experience, something Joe will never, ever forget.
Our thanks go out to Give It Your Max and AELTC for giving Joe a day he will always remember, and to Darren Stanford for helping inspire the next generation of champions.