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East Anglia Future 50

Ball-dogs will take to the court for tennis tournament

PUBLISHED: 18:43 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:43 26 November 2018

ball-dog fetching a ball on the court.

ball-dog fetching a ball on the court.

Archant

Most dog-owners know all too well how much their canine friends love running to fetch tennis balls, and at an upcoming tennis event, they can put those instincts to good use.

Champions Tennis, which is held next month at the Royal Albert Hall, is being sponsored by the Suffolk based pet food manufacturer Skinner’s. The affiliation arose following a canine addition to the event, whereby ‘ball-dogs’ will be stepping onto the court.

All the dogs have gone through some light training, thanks to the charity Canine Partners, to see if their court skills are up to scratch, before being put in the limelight.

The ball-dogs will be assisting renowned players such as John McEnroe and Tim Henman in the battle to take the top title.

Skinner’s has a strong affiliation with active and working dogs, and sponsor numerous clubs and events throughout the year,

The Skinner’s mill in Stradbroke, Eye, has belonged to the Skinner family for seven generations, but it was the idea of the current Chairman, Roger Skinner, to branch from animal feed into dry dog foods in the early 1970’s when there were very few competitors in this sector of the market.

William Delamore, sales and marketing director for Skinner’s, said: “This is a sport we have not delved into before, so we are thoroughly looking forward to witnessing what is set to be an eye-opening performance, both from the players and the talented dogs from Canine Partners. We are in awe of the work they carry out day in day out, and to be a part of the event is a privilege.”

Champions Tennis is held at the Royal Albert Hall, 6th – 9th December 2018.

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