Playing on Cambridge's blue court
Cambridge blue court

After the success of the previous, introductory, trip in 2006 (see article), IRTA member Roland Budd led a return visit to Cambridge in early January 2007. Four members travelled from Ireland, meeting up with a few others there. Also at Cambridge that weekend was a team from the Dutch Real Tennis Association, who are in some ways in a similar situation to us, in that they have no playable court in the Netherlands but are campaigning to restore and/or build one. It was useful to exchange experiences and to hear about the week-long annual Dutch trip to the Oratory School to play.

Playing on Cambridge's green court
Cambridge green court

The IRTA's play in Cambridge started on the Friday evening, where we were able to get a good amount of time on court to play amongst ourselves in preparation for the weekend. On Saturday morning, we had a chance to look round the town of Cambridge a bit, and then senior pro Kees gave an hour-long coaching session which we found very beneficial. In the afternoon we put the lesson into practice with more time on court, and in the evening quite a large and international group went to a Turkish restaurant for a very enjoyable dinner — IRTA, Dutch Real Tennis Association, and Cambridge University Real Tennis Club members. A few of the Cambridge players became members of the IRTA and we thank them for their support.

We had more time on court on the Sunday, and more opportunity to discuss tennis matters with Cambridge and Dutch enthusiasts. A very successful weekend in all, and many thanks are due to Kees and Burak for their organisational work and warm welcome to Cambridge — as he did for the previous trip, Burak arranged accommodation in the excellent surroundings of Gonville and Caius College. We were kindly invited to make another trip at some stage, so if you are interested in hearing about the next trip, please contact us.