Tennis players at Manchester High get Royal Seal of Approval

A group of young tennis players from Manchester High School for Girls got the Royal seal of approval from HRH The Earl of Wessex as they showcased their skills as part of a campaign to generate support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) at the Manchester Tennis & Racquet Club recently.

Hannah Wall from Knutsford Hannah Wall from Knutsford

The students were joined by pupils from four other schools from across Greater Manchester to receive a master class on the original racquet sport; as part of a series of UK events by HRH to raise awareness of the DofE. The tennis enthusiasts tested their new skills against each other in front of a Royal audience; HRH, and other guests including proud mums, dads and teachers.

From left: Lily Holmes (14) from Alderley Edge, Nadia Anim-Somuah (15) from Fallowfield, HRH The Earl of Wessex, Parina Aggarwal (13) from Withington, Iman Sheen (14) from Didsbury, and Hannah Wall (13) from Knutsford with staff from the Manchester Tennis and Racquet club From left: Lily Holmes (14) from Alderley Edge, Nadia Anim-Somuah (15) from Fallowfield, HRH The Earl of Wessex, Parina Aggarwal (13) from Withington, Iman Sheen (14) from Didsbury, and Hannah Wall (13) from Knutsford with staff from the Manchester Tennis and Racquet club

After the thrilling two hour tennis session, the highlight for everyone was to meet The Earl, as Hannah Wall (13) from Knutsford explained: “I had the best time! Not only did we get to practice a new sport with a professional coach at the club, we also had the privilege to meet The Earl of Wessex afterwards and talk to him about his experiences of tennis and racquet.

“I was quite nervous at first but then I realised that he was really down to earth and knew a lot about the sport. I started playing tennis at Manchester High just under two years ago and now play 15 hours a week at two clubs; Widnes Tennis Academy and the Northern in Didsbury. To be able to talk to a member of the Royal family about my favourite sport was an opportunity of a lifetime and I will never forget it!”

Manchester High girls proudly celebrated their third place as HRH congratulated all students and presented them with medals at the end of the event.

Sarah Rowley, PE teacher at MHSG, said: “At Manchester High, we offer a wide and varied learning experience both in and outside the classroom, and we encourage our girls to go out there and explore new things.

“Trying out different forms of sport such as real tennis may push them out of their comfort zone, but  it also gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and transfer them to their own field of training.

Hannah Wall (13) receives a medal from HRH The Earl of Wessex as fellow Manchester High pupil Iman Sheen (14) from Didsbury watches on Hannah Wall (13) receives a medal from HRH The Earl of Wessex as fellow Manchester High pupil Iman Sheen (14) from Didsbury watches on

“The Real Tennis Challenge was a fantastic event and we were honoured to meet The Earl. Our girls were visibly inspired by his passion for the sport and no doubt it was an experience they will talk about for many years to come.”

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