Why is it such a great game ?
People often describe real tennis as complicated but I think this is one of the things that make it an amazing game to play. Complicated would be better replaced by, ‘involved’, ‘intricate’, ‘interesting’ and ‘not simple’, because to play a game that takes more than 5 minutes to understand does not make it complicated, it makes it challenging.
Why does it appeal so much to you ?
I find it very appealing when you play a game that requires the ball striking skills of a top racquet sport professional, the ability to understand spin and angles of a snooker champion, understanding strategy like a chess master and the ability to do all this on different courts like a pro golfer deals with different courses. What’s not to like?
Why should more (young) people start playing it ?
There are many reasons for young people to get involved with any sport and many of them are very obvious such as stimulation, fitness, well being and the reasons I have offered above’ but real tennis offers some wonderful benefits to young people. The real tennis community is a very small and supportive one, an ideal environment for young people to be ‘part’ of a sport and not just a number in the system like so many of the big sports, therefore offering a sense of belonging to something special. It is a great opportunity to be a part of history. Real tennis has been played for 600 years and it is down to young people to play their part in seeing that it continues for at least another 600. I am very proud of my small role in the evolution of this great game and I’m sure there are many young people to follow me that will experience the same sense of pride.
What is the importance of a new court in another (5th) country ?
Adding 1 new court to the real tennis world on the surface seems like a rather small 2% improvement but in reality, by adding that court in a different country, it gives the sport that 20% extra global punch and hopefully the impetus to continue on into other countries around the world. On a more local level there is already such a strong Dutch playing population without a court that it seems natural that it can grow exponentially with the addition of its first court.