The current Ladies' World Rackets Champion and British Open Champion, Lea Van der Zwalmen, visited Cheltenham College to give our keen Fourth, Fifth and Lower Sixth girls a master class in areas such as footwork, preparation of the racket and positioning during the game. They conducted drills and played singles, doubles and mixed matches. Lea commented, “I am very happy I got the chance to hit with the girls… it's very satisfying to see that the future of Ladies' Rackets looks bright! Keep up the good work.”
Director of Sport, Mr Karl Cook, commented, “Lea’s master class was a huge success and has only inspired more girls to keep playing. Girls’ rackets is a comparatively recent initiative and those co-educational schools with rackets courts have got the girls playing what has been for 150 years a boys' game. Cheltenham College is proud to be at the forefront of this, with two girls winning the first national U16 doubles match in December.”
Lea was visiting College to play in the Old Cheltonian Rackets Tournament, an annual event that sees some of the best rackets players in the world return to College. This year, six of the top ten players in the world attended the tournament (and brought their silverware with them!), with five of them being OCs.
The photo below shows Nick James (2001-06, BH) the Public Schools Old Boys Doubles Champion and US Open Singles Trophy; Richard Owen (2006-11, L) the British Invitational Singles Champion, British Amateur Doubles Champion and Manchester Gold Rackets Champion; Mark Briers (Cheltenham College’s rackets coach) with Jamie Stout’s (1997-02, H) World Championship Trophy and Ben Snell (1997-02, L) the British Professionals Champion and Public Schools Old Boys Doubles Champion.