When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Youngsters meet up with Tim at Wimbledon
8:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in General Sport
WINCHESTER’S Austin Gwilliam had the opportunity of a lifetime as he took to the Wimbledon lawns alongside former British number one tennis star Tim Henman.
As part of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14-and-Under Challenge Finals, the 14-year-old Westgate School pupil qualified for Wimbledon after winning all three of his matches in his Hampshire County Finals group, bowing out in the first round of the main draw.
Some 20,000 children from all over Britain competed during the summer trying to follow in the Wimbeldon footsteps of Andy Murray, the top 128 boys and girls earning the chance to compete at the national finals.
For Winchester Racquets and Fitness star Gwilliam, arriving as a player at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this year was the highlight of his summer.
“It’s really inspiring and hopefully the aim is to come back down when I’m older to play a grand slam,” he said.
“When I was in Year Six I wrote a letter to Tim Henman for a school project and he wrote back which was nice! “He said to keep doing what I’m doing and that there’s no reason why I couldn’t do what he’s done.”
Also in action was 13-year-old Mary Strevens, from Winchester, pictured with Henman. Despite failing to progress past the first round of the girls’ consolation draw, the Kings’ School pupil will take away a host of wonderful memories.
“I just cannot believe that I had the opportunity to play here where professionals have played,” Strevens said. HSBC Tournament Ambassador Henman spent time with the players, signed autographs, and posed for photos with the finalists.
“The excitement of coming through the gates is still the same for me. It has the best tennis tournament in the world and it is a huge motivating factor for all the kids,” Henman said.
Comments are closed on this article.