2019 most successful year ever!: It's been another amazing year, but 2019 pips all previous ones due to the amount of success we've had on the court!
You can read more about that further down the newsletter, but I want to highlight the amazing team spirit that we have amongst the squads at Hawker. This is one of our magic ingredients for success, and makes the whole thing so much more than just being about tennis. It's about enjoying life, learning and growing, supporting each other, and overcoming challenges together.
Marginal Gains!: I'm very excited about my new series of articles, which has just launched on Tennisplayer, and will likely run throughout most of 2020. It's great to once again have my work published alongside coaching greats such as Nick Bollitieri, Rick Macci, and several current pro tour coaches. Tennisplayer.net to check it out, and there is currently an offer of 30 days free trial to access the whole site!
A hatrick of Ham/Hawker Cup wins!: You can read the full review on the Hawker Jets page, but it was another fantastic win for the club, thanks to numerous superstar performances. First and foremost Moritz, with two huge upset wins in singles! Also with one or more crucial victories: Tristan, Georgiy, Nicho, Liam, James.C, and Thomas.
It took several exceptional performances to get this cup win, and it was the same story last year. The cup, more than any other regular event, has allowed me to see how well our players can rise to the occasion by playing strong intelligent tennis under pressure. It's just so pleasing to know the juniors are responding so well to what we do in squads training, and are able to put it into practice in this way.
Surrey National League Team Trophy 19/20: It's been a strong campaign so far, with 6 of our 8 teams playing in Division 1 leagues against the strongest teams in Surrey. Tristan and Georgiy's win for the U16 A's away to David Lloyd Raynes Park was one of the highlights! We won 3 leagues, and finished 2nd in 3 others. Based on last year, that would have seen 6 teams qualify for the knock-out stage this term. However, this year the decision was only league winners qualify, even in the strong Division 1 leagues, and so we have only 3 teams in the knock-out stages, and they are all of our U16's teams!
We're disappointed not to have more team tennis matches this term, but are excited to see what we can get done in the U16's draw!
An incredible year already saw us win 5 out of 7 leagues in the Summer (finishing 2nd in the other 2), and make 2 Finals in last Winter's Team Trophy!
Instagram: Why not brighten up the misery of social media by following our Hawker Jets on Instagram!
Individual success: Hawker players enjoyed great success at the half-term Teddington Open. In the U14 Boys event, James and Charlie were the 5th and 6th seeded players in a 20-player draw. They both worked their way through to the final, where James edged a close match to take the title! Tristan made it a Hawker double, winning the U16 Boys title in impressive fashion! James also made the final of the Sutton Grade 4 the previous week, whilst Harry picked up a Grade 4 title at Garon's, making it an incredible half-term! Tristan also won a Grade 5 tournament at U16's, and several Hawker players have seen significant jumps up the rankings, along with rating increases too.
An incredible year has seen our players pick up 11 singles titles at county level, 2 doubles titles, countless finals, and 3 semi-finals at regional level!
Remembering Joe Horner (it's all too easy to forget, so once again do take the time to read this memorial, and reflect on the growing issue of mental health, especially in younger people): Joe was a regular face at Matchplay during many of his teenage years. He loved coming down to play, to mix with friends and enjoy the special atmosphere. His highlight was winning the 2009 Summer Tournament Doubles.
Sadly, Joe struggled with severe depression from his early 20's, and his mental health largely deteriorated over the last 5 years. He was very open about his problems, and had so much love from family and friends, but tragically in April this year, he took his own life.
I have very fond memories of Joe, because he really understood what Hawker Tennis was all about, and fully appreicated being part of it even from a young age. He turned into a fine young man, so considerate of others, and always a pleasure to chat to.
After finishing education, Joe worked as a keeper at Chessington Zoo, and then moved on to ZSL at London Zoo. ZSL work worldwide on conservation to help save endangered species, something that was very close to Joe's heart.
For those who knew Joe, perhaps you would like to donate to this cause, or write a few words on his memorial page. Links as follow:
Winter Term Classes: We have just kicked-off the new term with the usual packed programme, running 7 days a week. Classes for all levels, along with weekend Matchplays, Grade 4 and Grade 5 tournaments, and adult tennis!
Matchplay: Matchplay is a gem for local juniors who wish to compete regularly and without having to travel too far. It’s open to players from other venues as well as Hawker, and caters for all levels. Those starting out shouldn’t be put off, as we often have helpers to assist them, and we won’t match players up where the ability/experience gap is too wide. The 2020 Race begins TODAY (12th Jan)!
Hawker Tennis Squads: The success of our players in team and individual competition continues to speak for itself. We have a handful of spaces in our squads, and welcome new players to have a free trial, please contact me directly if you're interested.
Thursday Night Tennis (TNT!): A great addition for higher standard players to add to their weekly training, and also a suitable session for competent players who can't commit to tennis, but still want to play each week. This term is pretty full up, but if you're interested to join, please get in touch and I'll do my best to find a spot for you.
YouTube channel: 56 videos that continue to receive huge support from around the world. Do check them out via my website!
Richmond/Sheen Sports: You could go to an online retailer, or a budget superstore, and you may save a few pounds, but you won't get better overall value. Here's the best option, pay a visit to RichmondSports or SheenSports!
They are managed by enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable staff, equally passionate about sports as they are about the local community, where they support many local clubs and schools, including ours.
Your individual needs will be met in a way the bigger retailers can't match, in terms of better advice, a more personal service, and a genuine desire to fulfil your sporting needs whatever they may be.
Being part of Hawker Tennis also entitles you to 10% off, so you'll be getting excellent all-round value, whilst helping them to keep helping us and other local clubs.
Feel free to get in touch about anything at all.
In the mean-time, I'm looking forward to a great Winter Term, and once again building up to an exciting action-packed Summer season!
All the very best
2019 - Hawker's most successful year ever!