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Emotional return to school for newly crowned Wimbledon champion

Former pupil and now Wimbledon Doubles Wheelchair champion Alfie Hewett at Acle Academy to help present sports awards to Year 8 pupils at the end of term.

Picture: James Bass

Former pupil and now Wimbledon Doubles Wheelchair champion Alfie Hewett at Acle Academy to help present sports awards to Year 8 pupils at the end of term. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2016

A Wimbledon champion returned home to pay tribute to a Norfolk school which helped him fulfil his dreams.

Alfie Hewett, alongside partner Gordon Reid won the Wimbledon men’s wheelchairs doubles title just ten days ago, becoming the first Britons to ever do so.

And this week he returned to Acle Academy, where he studied between 2010 and 2014.

The 18-year-old from Cantley said the school allowed him to go out on many competitions and tours during his time there.

He said: “Without the support I got from Acle Academy, I might never have become Wimbledon champion.

“They were extremely supportive to me and my ambitions during my time here before I left and became a professional.

“I had some great times at this school and it felt so weird to come back.”

Mr Hewett was at the school to help present sports awards out to year seven and eight pupils at their end-of-year assembly.

At the conclusion of the assembly, youngsters got the chance to take a photo and get the tennis star to give them an autograph.

It was a celebrity style return for the teenager, who only left the school two years ago.

He said: “It has been a whirlwind few weeks.

“Obviously there was so much joy at me and my partner becoming Wimbledon champions and that has certainly put me more in the spotlight.

“I have been getting lots of media attention and when I go out to train I have noticed a lot more people who come up to me and know who I am.

“But I have had so much support from everyone, some from people who I don’t even know it has been crazy.”

His Wimbledon win was his first Grand Masters success. He now looks onto a busy schedule ahead of him with the British Open in Nottingham, followed by the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

He said: “Wimbledon was such a great feeling I now just want to build on that and hopefully perform well in Rio.”

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