Four UF (Year 10) Christ’s Hospital pupils undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award had the pleasure of meeting Prince Edward on his recent visit to the National Trust’s magnificent Petworth House.
Laura, Lovedae, Joseph and Peter were taking part in a ‘Real Tennis’ training session on the centuries old tennis court where Prince Edward observed coaching sessions with pupils from four local schools before chatting to them.
Laura said: “Real Tennis is the original form of tennis from which the modern game of tennis comes from. The scoring of the two games is exactly the same however there are many differences, the main ones being: the court, the balls and the rackets. It is played on an enclosed court with a solid ball and with wooden rackets. The rather odd shapes of the surrounding walls spring from monastery cloisters where a similar game was played in the 11th century. Prince Edward has set himself the challenge of visiting all real tennis courts in the world to raise money for The Duke of Edinburgh’s award. He himself used to play the sport as a young boy and continues to do so today.
“The sport was challenging, and at first we struggled with hitting the ball accurately but in the end we were able to smash the ball into the winning nets. Christ’s Hospital ended the day successfully by coming a tight second in a mini competition to show off the skills we had been taught.”
Pictures courtesy DofE
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