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Jun 10 2014

Active Aces: game, set and match

by Andy Gardner

On Saturday 7 June, British tennis star – and one of our ambassadors – Laura Robson lead a panel of experts to choose seven-year-olds Abby Kelliher and Jacob Kelly as the winners of our 'Search for a Tennis Ace' competition.

The finals event, held at the prestigious Chiswick Riverside Health & Racquet club, was the culmination of a series of regional competitions, which has seen over 900 children take part.

Brighton boy Jacob and Tyneside's Abby dazzled the panel of judges at Chiswick Riverside, standing out from the 40-strong finals field to claim their prize.

As the winners, Abby and Jacob will receive a three year members to Virgin Active for themselves and their families, three years top level coaching at the club, a racquet and clothing deal with Wilson and a once in a lifetime chance to get top tips from Laura Robson.

Laura Robson with our 2014 junior tennis stars Abby Kelliher and Jacob Kelly

Laura was clearly impressed by the standard on show on Saturday. She said: "I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of this process to find the next tennis ace of the future, and would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Abby and Jacob. They displayed some serious skills on court today and stood out from the start.

"The level of talent from the girls today was particularly impressive, it was tough out there and Abby rose to the challenge. It's clear she loves the game and has a real competitive spirit. I have no doubt Abby is one to watch for the future."

Our "Search for a  Tennis Ace" competition saw us take full advantage of our partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association – and this year is just the start; we'll be doing it all again for the next two years as part of our commitment to junior tennis through our Active Aces programme.

Active Aces serves up a wide range of action-packed coaching sessions for kids, helping them to improve their game, whatever their level of ability.

Launched earlier this year, the programme will take budding tennis hot shots from age three upwards through a series of different ability bands – from 'tot' right through to 'junior active ace'.

So whether your budding Nadal or Murray is taking their first steps on the court or sending home smashes, we've got it all covered.

Find out more about Active Aces here or speak to a member of the Racquets team if you’re already a member.