Amberfield extend tennis cup reign

AMBERFIELD School have won tennis' Ella Wood Trophy Cup for the tenth consecutive year.

Stuart Watson

AMBERFIELD School have won tennis' Ella Wood Trophy Cup for the tenth consecutive year.

Ever since the mini tennis competition was launched in 1999, Amberfield School have reigned supreme at the Suffolk inter-school tournament.

In fact, such has been the domination of the independent all girls' school in the competition that, a few years ago, the original mixed sex format was scrapped so that boys had their own tournament to play in.

Nine players from Amberfield took part in this year's event at Felixstowe with the top players' points from each of the Mini Red, Orange and Green categories counting towards the final scores.

This year Nia Braidford was Amberfield's leading player, the nine-year-old winning the Mini Orange section following a very closely fought final match against her opponent from Ipswich School.

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Other Amberfield points scorers were Mini Green player Victoria Christie, who came third, and Mini Orange player Louise Dickman, who came fourth.

The continued on court success of Amberfield - which has only around 250 pupils - is testament to the work of Director of Tennis Kathy Martin who first started working at the Nacton-based school 13 years ago.

Martin made it her first priority to deliver tennis at the very earliest opportunity at the school - children as young as nursery school level enjoying fun introductions to the sport.

That has led to a real passion for tennis flowing throughout all age groups at the school, with over a third of pupils playing the sport at some kind of social or competitive standard.

Over the past decade Martin has led teams from the school to the latter stages of national competitions and has even helped register the school as an official club with the British Lawn Tennis Association.

Martin, who was named Suffolk Schools' '2007 Top Tennis Teacher of the Year', said: “Each year the pupils continue to excel. I am very proud of all of them and the hard work they put into each match.

“Once they get the bug for tennis that's it. The more success we have, the more they want to join.”

Amberfield tennis players have also made a good start in the first Under-11 and U12 tournament of the winter series.

Victoria Christie won the U11 age group, while Emily Gorham was victorious in the U12s. Kiara Hammond and Hannah Dale claimed second place in the respective age categories. The tournament also saw Lucy Scott play in her first tournament for the school.

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