Children’s coaching goes Aussi

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The young tennis players of Rye are a fortunate bunch, even if, at the moment, they don’t realise it. Normally they just have one former professional women’s tour player to coach them. Frances Candy, Rye head coach, past World Team Championship gold medallist and current silver medal holder, teaches them the art of her sport each week. This week, however,  they had not just one Grand Slam player to teach them but two.

Prizegiving, Australian-style
Prizegiving, Australian-style

Visiting these shores from Australia was Mandy Morgan, winner and runner up in several Womens Tour events, who first met Candy forty years ago when both were playing in the pre-Wimbledon tournaments (one of them, Paddington, being won by Candy) and met up again when Candy went to Australia to play in the Australian Open – traditionally the first of the major tournaments each year. They have been friends ever since.

On Monday, Morgan, over here to watch Wimbledon, took a day off from watching Andy, Roger, Serena and all and came to Rye to help Candy with her most junior class – eight 4 year-olds. “This was a new experience, and I was amazed at how much some of these very young children could do”.  The coaching session ended, as usual with a simple competition (at which there were no losers!) and all were presented with a special small prize straight from Australia.

Following the coaching session, those adults still around had the privilege of watching these two former Tour ladies play a few friendly games on the immaculately maintained courts of Rye Tennis Club where they ably demonstrated that while it might have been a few years since they played professionally, they, nevertheless, have not lost their touch.

Photos: John Minter

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