The Geordie Grand Slammers (GGS) were invited by Pride in Tennis to the inaugural Pride in Tennis cup held at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. This was the first LGBTQ+ inclusive tennis team tournament held in GB. 7 members of the GGS were chosen to represent our group in Nottingham: Andrew Bothamley, Radia Guesmi, Paul Simpson, Jay Clifton, Helen Riddell, Paul Agar and Pierina Del Pizzo and team manager Dan Rogerson. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical breakdown on the A1, Helen was unable to join us in Nottingham but was a constant support via message over the weekend.
There were 2 groups of 5 teams in Nottingham. GGS were drawn against the two F.A.S.T teams from London, the Weegie Whackers from Glasgow, and the Cardiff Baseliners. Saturday saw all 4 round robin games being played. Matches consisted of 3 timed doubles games, with a sliding handicap. After 4 closely fought matches against a lot of very experienced players, GGS finished the group in 5th position, meaning they were due to play a team from the South London Smashers on Sunday morning.
The final match at 9am was now without any handicaps and against the 5th placed team from the other group. The GGS players produced some of their best tennis in this match and had visibly grown in confidence following the previous days matches. However, they had come up against another strong, more experienced team. This left the GGS in 10th place at the end of weekend but can hold their heads high, having been great representatives for the club and region.
This was a fantastic first competitive outing for the GGS. The team got to meet lots of new players from across the country and everyone developed their games helping them to return to Newcastle with a new motivation to improve further for more competitions in the future. We would like to thank the LTA - North East for their support for this tournament. If you are interested in joining the Geordie Grand Slammers, we welcome everyone of all standards. We play 5.30-7.30pm on Sunday evenings at the Northumberland Club in Jesmond.