On Wednesday 9th May, the Year 3/ 4 ‘red ball’ tennis competition was held at the Tarka Tennis Centre. The competition saw around 100 pupils enter from across 10 schools in North Devon. The top team would also qualify for the ‘Devon Games’ competition.
Southmead has an abundance of tennis talent and the school was able to take 3 teams of 4,
with the competition criteria stating that there must be two boys and 2 girls per team. Team
A: Tommy Ashton, Reuben Rodwell, Issi Hebard, Isla Nicholls. Team B: Harry Baker, Jago
Beardshall, Mia Latu, Amelie Ballantyne. Team C: Reuben Wood, Eben Franklin, Lyra Woolam,
The morning saw all teams play 6 matches per person with the winner being the first to score 10 points. The standard of tennis displayed was inspiring and the competition was tough with county and squad level opponents. Southmead made a fantastic impression and at all times were supportive and respectful of other teams. After all 6 matches were played, the points were
accumulated and Team A, who had won the majority of their matches, made it through to the quarter finals. Team B unfortunately, missed out on a quarter final spot by only 2 points!
Team A played Holywell in the quarter-final with 3 players scoring maximum points per person, as each of the players submitted their scores it was clear that Southmead had won and were through to the semi-final! In the semi-final, Southmead were placed against Fremington A and in this round the team played even better with 25 points achieved out of 28; superb! On the realisation that we had made it through to the final, the nerves set-in for Team A and a team chat was needed to calm the nerves and break the match down into winning one point at a time, not thinking about the end goal. All of Southmead gathered to watch Team A take on West Buckland A in the final and it was a special moment to share. West Buckland were an extremely talented team with County level players but Southmead stood strong and did not lose points easily however West Buckland were triumphant in the end. Southmead Team A were extremely proud of themselves and delighted to finish 2nd, their success was rewarded with medals to celebrate the day.
“I really enjoyed it and hopefully I will get to play green ball doubles next year.” – Reuben
“It was such a challenge but luckily we came second, had our photos taken and got a medal!” –
We cannot attend such events without the ongoing support of parents and carers so we’d like to say a big thank you to all those parents and grandparents that helped transport children on the day. A special thank you goes to Sarah Nicholls and Matt Cardew, who were our parent leads for the competition and Nicola, who supported Team C and contributed to making the day such a positive experience.