Patrick plays tennis with a Prince

by Patrick Juric, Year 8

On the 17th of October 2018, HRH Prince Edward visited Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club. He had been touring all the Real Tennis clubs in the UK to promote the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. I have been playing for around one year and was invited by the professional at the club to go and meet the prince. Many schools from around the area were invited to select a few students to try out real tennis.

The professional at the club ran a class where people from the schools could try out the sport. When the prince arrived, he came on court with us. He was a very down to earth man and just seemed like a regular person. We had to hit forehands, backhands and serves over the net. With the serves, we had to try and get them into a basket; I hit the rim of the basket before the ball bounced out. I was the closest (closer than the prince)!

Real tennis is a sport that was played by King Henry VIII, and dates back to the 12th or 13th century. Henry played it at Hampton court and it has been played by people ever since. Real tennis was the sport out of which all other racquet sports, like lawn tennis and squash, developed. It is played indoors and has roofs around the edge of the court, called penthouses, onto which you can hit the ball. I would recommend this sport to anyone and once you get into it you will really enjoy it.