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Family's gift will help youngsters

PUBLISHED: 15:01 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:16 03 July 2010

A GENEROUS donation from the family of a Gorleston Tennis Club stalwart will be establishing a junior academy in his memory.

Martin and Simon Meredith have presented their former club with £5,000 to develop junior tennis at the club in honour of their late father Robin.

A GENEROUS donation from the family of a Gorleston Tennis Club stalwart will be establishing a junior academy in his memory.

Martin and Simon Meredith have presented their former club with £5,000 to develop junior tennis at the club in honour of their late father Robin. A founder member of the club, Mr Meredith played there regularly for over 50 years.

Thanks to the generosity of the two brothers, who now live in the United States, the club's Meredith Academy will help the next generation of young tennis players fulfil their potential.

A chartered accountant, Martin completed his articleship at Lovewell Blake in Great Yarmouth, moving on to work for energy giant McDermott International. He currently lives in Houston and still plays tennis as well as golf.

Simon manages a large sports centre in Chicago meeting many of the tennis legends from Pancho Gonzales to those of the present day.

The two brothers were encouraged to pick up a racket by their father from their early days.

Both played junior and senior tennis for Norfolk, and went to Millfield School in Somerset, specialising in tennis.

Martin captained the school team to the National Schools Championship and played at Junior Wimbledon. Simon went on to captain of the University of Kent and English Universities teams in 1974.

Club president Michael Boon said: “Robin was keen to develop his own game throughout his career and having control of the Gorleston Club's ball machine regularly used it to improve his game even in his 70s.

“He was always a great example to younger players who were just starting out encouraging them to play their shots.

“His wife Pat, also a founder member, provided assistance with social events and teas from the early days as the club was getting of the ground.

“I was delighted and surprised to be approached by two former juniors Martin and Simon, who had made their mark in tennis.

“This generous gift in their father's memory will enable the club to develop the Meredith Tennis Academy and encourage many more junior players in Norfolk and north Suffolk to enjoy and achieve in the game.”

Mr Meredith was always delighted to see younger players develop and a number of previous juniors had great success moving on to higher levels in the game.

Ulli Nganga, Warren Sawyer, Neil Plaskett, James Birtwistle, Stuart Rogers and several others all reached high playing standards ranging from county to international levels, and are currently high level tennis coaches around the country.

One of the coaching schemes aims will be to support children from disadvantaged families to cover their playing and coaching costs, including playing in tournaments.


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