PUPILS at Rayleigh primary schools got a taste of tennis during an annual tournament held over Wimbledon fortnight.

Rayleigh Lawn Tennis Club head coach Ryan Wilson and his assistant coaches went into seven junior schools in the town to organise matches for Year 3 and 4 pupils.

The class winners then played on Rayleigh’s courts at Watchfield Lane in the finals over the weekend.

“Apart from discovering new talent, the tournament was about giving as many children as possible the opportunity to try tennis,” said Wilson, who has been running the schools event for six years.

“Over the two weeks and across the four tournaments, nearly 1,000 children took part. “All these pupils have been given the chance to take part in a free taster session at the club.”

The girls’ finals on Saturday started with the Year 3 tournament, which was won by Jessica Haase of Grovewood School who beat Lai Soeng Mann (Edward Francis) 8-6.

The Year 4 girls was won by Taryn Fox (Edward Francis) who beat Trinity Daye (Wyburns) in the final.

Sunday started with the Year 3 boys’ tournament. Alex Douglas (Grovewood) made the final by beating Rayleigh Lawn club club mate Marcus Whittington (Edward Francis) 7-5 in a tight semi-final match).

But Alex was beaten in the final by a great performance from Rafael Amey (Wyburns).

The Year 4 boys’ final was a tense affair, but Ben Hoskins (Grovewood) prevailed to become the champion beating a very good Teddy Packer (Glebe) 8-6 in the final.

The schools taking part were: Grovewood, Edward Francis, Glebe, Rayleigh Primary, Our Lady of Ransom, Down Hall and Wyburns.

All had at least one pupil reach the semi-finals and for the second year running Grovewood produced two of the four tournament winners.

l Rayleigh Lawn will be running summer camps for children aged five to 12 during the first three weeks of the school holidays.

These places can be booked at www.rayleightennisacademy.com.