All posts by Medway Sports

First Who, Then What?



Michigan’s softball coach, Carol Hutchins (“Hutch,” to most of her players) has more NCAA career wins (1,500) than any other coach, male or female, in any sport in the University of Michigan’s storied history.

In a speech she gave, Coach Hutchins remarked:

“If I lose a recruit, she might beat me twice a year. If I make a mistake on a recruit, she beats me every day.”

Having led the Wolverines to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and 25 overall since taking over in 1985, Coach Hutchins keenly understands that getting the wrong recruit is far more damaging to her team than passing on an all-star.

This perspective is also espoused by Jim Collins in his bestselling book, Good to Great. Collins’ “First Who, Then What” concept is a key hiring characteristic of companies that have endured over the long-term and differentiate themselves from competitors who started at the same time but eventually flamed out.

As Collins’ writes:

“The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, ‘Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.’”

Collins also writes that when people “get on the bus” because of where it is going, it presents a problem when you need to change direction. And even if you do find the right direction, if you have the wrong people, you probably won’t make it to your destination.

This has been Acceleration Partners’ approach to expanding abroad. Having seen many companies in our industry rush into new markets only to waste both time and money, we chose instead to put our focus on finding the right people to lead our efforts in those new countries and represent our brand. Once on board, we then asked them to develop the plan for their market, rather than the reverse.

“First Who, Then What” can be applied not only to whom we hire, but whom we marry and choose as our friends and business partners. If we get the who part wrong by focusing too much on the what (i.e. wanting to be married or have kids), it’s often a recipe for disaster down the road.

Ideas and circumstance change. Neither will matter if you wake up every day and have to spend time with people you don’t like or respect.

Next time you have a problem or opportunity, consider looking at it through the “First Who, Then What” lens – and pay close attention to whom you want on your bus and whom you need to take off.

The “right people” concept is not just about skill sets and talent. It’s also about their character and core values. Although Michigan’s Alumni Field is among the best facilities in the country and has a top-notch grounds crew, Hutchins will make her players clean the locker room or sweep the dugouts every now and then. To play for her is to be grateful for the opportunity to be a college athlete. “Go out there and play for the people who paved the way before us,” she tells them.

Clearly, Coach Hutch is the right “who.”

Quote of the Week
“A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.” -Jim Collins

Rashid to pick up 16 Indian wickets?



Adil Rashid will take 16 wickets on his return to Test cricket against India, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index – though India’s spinners will take 25 scalps, compared to 20 from English spinners throughout the series.

Rashid, who was a controversial pick by selector Ed Smith, has been named in the starting XI at Edgbaston for his first Test in two years, and his first first-class game in 11 months. While his red ball skills may be rusty, traders at Sporting Index are backing the Yorkshireman to pick up 16 wickets across the five match series.

It looked a long way back to Test cricket for Rashid since his last match in 2016, with Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, Jack Leach and Dominic Bess all getting the nod as England’s spinners – before a dramatic recall for Rashid ahead of the India series.

The 30-year-old leg-spinner has taken 38 wickets in 10 Tests for England, including 23 in five matches against India in 2016/17.

Sporting Index traders are backing the tourists to come out on top in the spin stakes, however, with Indian spinners predicted to take 25 wickets across the series, compared to 20 for England.

With Ravi Jadeja and R Ashwin sitting in the top five of the ICC Test bowling rankings, and talented youngster Kuldeep Yadav waiting in the wings too, traders at the spread betting firm think they can beat the likes of Rashid and Ali in the battle for spin supremacy.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “England have turned to Adil Rashid as they hope spin can win it against India – and we’re backing the leggie to take 16 scalps on his return to Test cricket.

 “Rashid’s recall has certainly ruffled a few feathers, and with pitches likely to be conducive to turn, he could ruffle a few Indian batsmen too.

 “We think India’s spinners will come out on top, however – though are backing a 3-1 England series victory in what looks set to be an enthralling encounter.”

Rugby League set for World Cup legacy boost



England hosts the competition in 2021 and Sport England are investing £10 million of government money to help the sport grow and become more visible, engaging and welcoming to current and potential participants.

The funding will be split into large transformational community projects, for example refurbishing changing rooms and installing new artificial pitches, and smaller-scale projects such as supplying new kit or equipment to clubs.

All investment will focus on four key areas: creating welcoming environments, encouraging more players, building community engagement and cultivating further investment resulting in an innovation fund for the community game.

Massive benefit

Charles Johnston, their property director, said the funding represented the biggest investment into rugby league facilities the country has ever seen.

“With this funding, communities will gain better access to the facilities, improved infrastructure and essential equipment they need to be active,” he added.

“We are pleased the investment will provide benefit to people engaging in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair game, with a focus on those disadvantaged areas where inactivity levels are stubbornly high.

“By focusing our efforts on increasing participation in the game, we’re ensuring that the Rugby League World Cup’s legacy lasts long after the last ball has been kicked and the crowds have gone home.”

Interested parties can pre-register their funding application here.

Good Sportsmanship



They had a big lead and, as the time wound down, the other team was starting to get frustrated and rather “chippy.” One kid in particular had locked into some one-on-one challenges with my son, who is mild-mannered and often plays the role of peacemaker.

Ultimately, my son’s team won and, as the teams lined up to do the sportsmanship handshake, this kid refused to shake hands with my son and others.  Instead, he walked away with a one-fingered gesture in their direction.

Not a great sport.

Based on my experiences, I am going to guess that he is the child of parents who also do not demonstrate good sportsmanship. What I have observed time and again in youth sports is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sadly, many parents today put winning above character.

Competition is a vital part of achievement and outperforming. In fact, the word “compete” comes from the Latin word competere which means “strive together.”  Yet, this concept tends to be misunderstood and underappreciated.

The reality is that we regularly compete in most aspects of our life. We compete for jobs we want, college admission spots, and for new clients and employees.

Unlike the boy my son played, Ty Koehn understands the essence of competition and character. Koehn is a high school pitcher in Minnesota. Last week during the sectional championship game, he struck out his best friend and competitor, Jack Kocon. This final strike advanced Koehn’s team to the state tournament.

As his team rushed to the pitcher’s mound to celebrate, Koehn immediately headed to home plate and gave Kocon a big hug before joining his teammates in celebration, as you’ll see in this inspiring video.

When asked about his reaction, Koehn said that he wanted his friend to know their friendship was more important than the outcome of the game.

The scene reminded me of a video I saw a few years back of a softball player named Sarah Tucholsky. Sarah had hit a three-run home run, the first in her college career, but she had missed making contact with first base on her first go-round. As she ran back to tag first base, she tore her ACL.

As per official rules, none of Tucholsky’s teammates could assist her in running the bases, which she couldn’t do because of her injured knee. The umpires also pointed out that Tucholsky’s hit would only count as a two-run single if she were replaced by a pinch runner.

What happened next was one of the most incredible acts of sportsmanship I’ve ever seen. It’s actually hard to watch this video without getting emotional.

Competing is about elevating our own game. It’s about practicing, getting better and having the will to win as a team. Instead of winning at all costs or wishing failure on others, real winners always prioritize character over winning itself. True sportsmanship requires that we know how to win well and be gracious in defeat.

Do you know how to keep you family water safe?



Latest stats show that 56 children under the age of 11 years old drowned in the UK in the last 5 years, with more than 300 people accidentally drowning every year.

And for every drowning death that occurs, there are more than 10 near drownings, with many of these leading to life changing injuries
We at the RLSS UK strongly believe that lives could be saved if children and young people were taught how to be safe near water.

We launched the Drowning Prevention Week campaign five years ago to help put water safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the lead up to summer, a high-risk time of year for drowning. 

Drowning Prevention Week, this year running from 15-25 June, is a national, awareness raising campaign and every year schools, leisure centres, community groups, businesses and MPs use our free downloadable resources to teach their local communities how to stay safe near water.

We want to equip everyone, young and old, with basic water safety skills to help them identify risks and make informed choices around water based activities.


There are a number of things you can do to help keep your family safe this summer:

At home

• Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
• Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
• Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty

• Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended). Empty the bath as soon as possible after use

On holiday

• When researching your holiday, or arriving at your destination, check the safety arrange-ments of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool or beach
• Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean. Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
• Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
• On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also, be aware of dangerous rip-currents
• Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water
• Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
• Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore
We believe that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented, especially with children. No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child through drowning. Making sure everyone is aware of the basic principles of water safety helps to keep families safe, and still enjoy the water. 

We don’t want to stop people having fun in the water, far from it, we want everyone to have fun and enjoy the summer weather. But it is important to remember that drowning can, and does happen, and that there are things you can do to prevent tragedy. 

To get involved with the campaign, find out what your local leisure centre is doing or visit our campain wesbite for our free resources at

Stay safe this summer!

Karen Welsh, RLSS UK Campaign Manager

For more information about RLSS UK: visit their website at, follow them on Twitter @RLSSUK, visit their Facebook page –, join their LinkedIn page – @rlssuk

Denmark football legend Schmeichel plays piano



MOSCOW, JUNE 8Denmark’s football legend Peter Schmeichel, the host of RT’s The Peter Schmeichel Show about the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, played piano in the latest episode with the internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, a celebrity 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ambassador.

To watch the episode of The Peter Schmeichel Show featuring Denis Matsuev go to

While exploring Saint Petersburg, Schmeichel told the audience about the football stadium that will be hosting some of the World Cup games before heading to the city’s famous St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra to meet Russia’s star pianist Denis Matsuev.

“One of my favorite musical pieces is Rachmaninoff’s second Piano Concerto. The chairman of the Rachmaninov Foundation is a big football fan. He happens to be one of the FIFA ambassadors for the World Cup, on top of being one the best pianists in the world,” Schmeichel said about Matsuev.

Speaking about both football and music, Matsuev pointed out, “The most important goal is we play for the audience. This is the most important thing.”

In his RT program The Peter Schmeichel Show, the legendary goalkeeper for Manchester United and the Denmark national team tours Russian cities set to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, keeping the audience up-to-date on the preparations for the championship.

Earlier, RT’s team of hosts was joined by star coach José Mourinho, who gave his predictions for the World Cup specially for RT. He believes that Russia will make it out of its group to face Spain in round 16. Mourinho will also participate in RT’s special coverage dedicated to the 2018 World Cup, sharing his expert analysis and predictions for the tournament with the network’s vast global audience. RT Spanish will feature Columbia’s football veteran Carlos Alberto Valderrama, the country’s most capped player.

Ahead of the tournament, RT has launched a special multimedia project dedicated to coverage of all things World Cup 2018: a website complete with the match schedule, player info and current standings, as well as news and exclusive interviews with sports stars. During the World Cup, the site will provide live text commentary of the games and stories from RT reporters.

Peter Schmeichel is Denmark’s most capped player, having made 129 appearances for the national team. During an illustrious career he won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League title, and a UEFA European championship.

RT is a global TV news network that broadcasts 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish, and French from its studios in Moscow, Washington, DC, London, and Paris. 100 million people in 47 countries watch RT channels every week; 45 million watch RT daily. In the US, RT has a weekly audience of 11 million viewers (Ipsos). It is also the most watched TV news network on YouTube with more than 5 billion views. RT is the winner of the Monte Carlo TV Festival Award for best 24-hr broadcast, and the only Russian TV channel to be a five-time Emmy finalist for news programming.

F2 Finding Football



LONDON, JUNE 4, 2018 — YouTube has teamed up with British superstar creators to produce two brand new Original series for subscription streaming service, YouTube Premium. “F2 Finding Football” follows the F2 as they discover football culture around the world with world-renowned musical guests such as Lil Jon, Becky G and more.

F2 Finding Football

In “F2 Finding Football,” football skill pioneers Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch (The F2) explore the beautiful game and unique pitches around the world in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, France, Thailand and more. The hosts and their guests take on adventures in every episode from creating their own version of a Japanese game show with Steve Aoki (DJ), making a Western movie in Hollywood with Blink 182’s Travis Barker (Blink-182) and much more. Additional celebrity guests in the series include singer and actress Becky G, EDM duo Krewella, rappers A$AP Ferg and Lil Jon, and Rock band Sigur Ros. “F2 Finding Football,” is produced by Whistle Sports.

The series will premiere on the F2Freestyler’s YouTube Channel on June 13th, just in time for the World Cup. From kicking a ball through narrow alleyways of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to The F2 mashing up trick-shots and tango in Buenos Aires to eating shrimp alive in Thailand, “F2 Finding Football” is a fusion of culture, music, community and sport.

Wingrove and Lynch (the F2) say: “It’s been an unbelievable experience creating this series. Whether it be a loyal football fan or someone who’s never seen a pitch, this show will give an unforgettable glimpse into how our beloved game is played around the world, just as many of these incredible countries are about to play on football’s biggest stage.”

  1. LaLonde, vice president of content, head of studio for Whistle Sports says: “To create a series with YouTube Premium featuring such talented individuals like The F2 is a true dream. As Whistle Sports continues to grow and increases its push into longer-form, premium content, it’s exciting to introduce this series that embodies the values of our younger audience: positivity, creativity, humour and skill.”

Luke Hyams, Head of YouTube Originals in EMEA says: “At YouTube, we continue to support incredible European creators and the stories they want to share with the whole world. ‘F2 Finding Football’ is a show that will captivate global audiences as it explores the many ways people are inspired by the beautiful game in some of the most football-obsessed countries in the world. The series also gives The F2 the opportunity to show off their incredible skills (or tekkers) as never before in some incredible locations around the world alongside some very special guest stars!”

The first episode, premiering on June 13th, will be free for the public to stream as well as the second episode which will air soon after. The remaining episodes will be available by purchasing YouTube Premium, which will be available in the UK early this summer.

For high resolution images for use in press, see this folder for “F2 Finding Football” and “The Sidemen Show”. Please note all images for “F2 Finding Football” should be credited to Chris Macchi/Whistle Sports. All images for “The Sidemen Show” should be credited to Blue Ant Media.

Jimmy Anderson swaps the wicket for the oche



In his first challenge as a Thomas Cook Sport ambassador, the #JimmyDoes campaign took the cricket star out of his comfort zone as he went head-to-head in a nine-dart challenge against one lucky supporter during the PDC’s visit to Manchester earlier this month.

With current PDC professional, Stephen Bunting, on hand to offer tips and training ahead of the sporting showdown, record-breaking bowler Jimmy switched the wicket and a ball temporarily for darts and a board and took on winning fan, Chris Ford, at a nine-dart challenge.

Taking place across Thomas Cook Sport’s social media channels, the first #JimmyDoes voting campaign pitted the LTA vs the PDC, with darts coming out on top with 69% of the vote. With one voter getting the opportunity to take Jimmy on at the winning sport, Chris stepped up to the Oche for a one-on-one showdown. By close of play, it was the England cricket star who walked away with a 262 – 211 victory.

Jimmy Anderson, Thomas Cook Sport brand ambassador, commented: “It feels good to have the opening #JimmyDoes challenge and first victory under my belt! It was great to get some tips and hints from Stephen, he certainly helped take my game to the next level ahead of my match with Chris.

“Keep an eye on Thomas Cook Sports’ social channels for the next #JimmyDoes vote and you could be taking me on during my next sporting challenge!”

Check out the first #JimmyDoes video here: #JIMMYDOESDARTS

For more information on packages with Thomas Cook Sport, please visit or call  01733 224 834.

London Marathon 2018 – Common Running Injuries



Over 300,000 people applied to take part in this year’s London Marathon, and of those 40,000 people will be running the 26 mile stretch across the capital.  Around 58% of those competing, have never run a marathon before, but will be valiantly pushing themselves to run for fun, charity or health reasons.
The wide range in abilities and disabilities of runners also determines the chances of injuries during or after the race.  A medical specialist team will be on hand to support the participants in the event of any strain or injury but in the event that those taking part only feel discomfort or anything unusual when they arrive home, we asked Mr Harold Nwaboku, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of Total Orthopaedics at Highgate Private Hospital to give us a breakdown of the most common injuries suffered as a result of such a long distance trek and how to spot those symptoms:-
What is iliotibial band syndrome?
Iliotibial band syndrome is a recognised problem in runners which can surface at this time of preparation for the London Marathon.  The iliotibial band runs from the hip region to the knee and its function includes movement of the knee.  This injury arises from overuse when the band becomes inflamed, which can hamper the training programme of runners.
What are the symptoms and who is susceptible to this injury?
Pain and sometimes swelling on their outer side of the knee.  It can often become very painful and difficult to run, but the pain subsides as soon as you stop. Athletes who do repetitive forward motion exercises for extended periods of time, most commonly including long distance runners, cyclists, and gym goers who perform repeated squats.
How do you test for this injury?
You can self-test by bending the affected knee whilst standing, you feel pain on the outside when the knee bends.  Touching the outer side of the knee will also elicit the pain, and an ultrasound or MRI will reveal the inflamed site.
What are the treatment options?
Most patients will respond well to rest or change in activities.  Physiotherapy assessment and treatment is also an option which can assist with recovery.  If rest or physiotherapy do not help, an Orthopaedic referral and assessment is the next recommended course of action.  Steroid or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections can offer pain relief.  Surgery is usually a last resort when all the non-operative options are unsuccessful
Patella tendinitis (Runner’s Knee)
What is patella tendinitis?
Patella tendinitis is commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’.  It is a common cause of anterior knee pain which occurs at the front and centre of the knee, where the tendon attaches to the bone.  The pain is often constant and can negatively affect the motion and motivation of the individual. 
What are the symptoms and who can be susceptible to this injury?
You will experience a dull or sharp pain under the knee cap while running, kneeling and climbing stairs.  Pain can also occur after sitting for long periods of time.  Knee instability is also common, leading to the knee giving way or falling. Individuals involved in running and jumping sports, and the condition is found to be more common in females.
How do you test for this injury?
The act of squatting is a common test, in addition to touching along the patella tendon from where the pain starts and ends.
What are the treatment options?
Assessment of footwear and of the training equipment can aid in preventing patella tendinitis, in addition to maintaining a healthy body weight.  Physiotherapy can help aid recovery as well as activity changes.   The RICE regimen may be recommended to calm inflammation: rest, ice, compression and elevation.  Steroid or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections can offer pain relief.  Surgery is usually a last resort when all the non-operative options are unsuccessful.
Hip stress fracture
What is a hip stress fracture?
It is a fracture of the top part of the femur (hip bone).  It occurs when there is repeated stress to the bone over time and can occur in high mileage runners and those training for a marathon.  At the start of this condition there is a small crack, which can lead ultimately to the fracture of the hip if left untreated.  While it is a rare cause of hip pain, it should be ruled out to prevent further injury.
Who can be susceptible to this injury?
Athletes who take up running and jumping sports, who repeatedly put pressure and stress onto the hip.  When stress to the bone is applied repetitively, it can cause an overuse injury like a hip stress fracture.  In addition to runners, gymnasts, ballet dancers, and power walkers and marchers can also experience this injury.
How do you test for this injury?
The condition may be suspected after learning of a patient’s history.  Rotation of the hip will be tested and could lead to further investigations like imaging scans being needed.  X-rays may not reveal anything visible for several weeks, so an MRI scan will likely be recommended as it is the most sensitive and specific test for this condition. 
What are the treatment options?
Orthopaedic referral and assessment is recommended if a hip fracture is suspected.  Rest and protection from weight bearing, so repetitive activity will need to be stopped.  Bed rest will be recommended in cases of severe pain, but surgery will only be recommended for cases with two complete hip fractures.
For more information or to assess any strain or injuries, please contact Total Orthopaedics at Highgate Private Hospital on or call 020 8108 3798

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) celebrates an historic landmark



The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) today celebrates an historic and landmark moment in the founding of professional tennis as global stars mark 50 years since the very first Open Era Tournament.

On April 22 1968, the British Hard Court Championships – held at West Hants Club in the English seaside town of Bournemouth – became the first of 12 Open tournaments for the year sanctioned by the then International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF). The tournament marked the birth of modern-day professional tennis and led to today’s multi-million dollar global industry defined by Grand Slam events and superstar athletes.

Fifty years ago, the first Open Era titles were won by Australia’s Ken Rosewall and Britain’s Virginia Wade, who took home the first ever prize money breakdowns recorded on a draw sheet – the men’s title with £1000 and the women’s £300.

Virginia Wade OBE, who won 55 singles titles including three grand slams singles titles, said: “Bournemouth and the West Hants Tennis Club have a very special place in my heart, being born there. The British Hard Courts (although the surface was shale) was the first of the early tournaments that all the players got excited about and it meant even more to me in 1968 to win the first event of the Open Era.

“It’s amazing when we think of the global phenomenon tennis has become over the last 50 years and we should be very proud that British Tennis had the courage to make it all happen.” 

Wade went onto win the US Open, Australian and Wimbledon over the course of her 18-year career.

Ken Rosewall, who won 133 career titles including eight Grand Slams, added: “I can’t believe it’s been 50 years. The British Hard Court Championships always had a lot of history there and we were all impressed with how big that event was and a lot of surprising results. I remember there were the top Brit players led by Mark Cox and the leading Pros from the National Tennis League of which I was one. It was very exciting to play there in April 1968, it was my first time and as it turned out the last. Rod [Laver] and I played off in the final, which was delayed by rain and I was glad to win in four sets. 

“Nowadays the game has grown so much, and in all sports, the players are well compensated. It was great that Herman David from Wimbledon and the LTA in Britain had the vision to bring the amateurs and the pros together. The changes have been fantastic for tennis helping the sport become more international. The Olympics has also helped that a lot and the top players in the world are much more international not just the Aussies, the Americans and the Brits as it was back then.”

It was when the legendary Australian champion Rod Laver agreed to turn pro in 1962, with some of his fellow pros under contract to Jack Kramer, including Rosewall, helping to fund it, that the ILTF realised that a review of the current rules were inevitable. Those who did turn up were banned from playing in the four major tournaments (Australia, France, Wimbledon and the United States). Laver, who had won all four major championships in 1962, did not play in the majors again until 1968.

This historic seachange in tennis took place following an impassioned speech from the LTA’s Councillor for Kent, Derek Penman, at the Lawn Tennis Association’s AGM at The Queen’s Club on December 14, 1967. Tennis was traditionally an amateur sport with only a few turning professional – usually the best amateur of each year. Prompted by the protests by professionals against the many competitors, who pretended to be amateurs, while accepting under-the-table payments, in a process branded ‘shamaterusim’.

Penman’s speech resulted in unanimous AELTC support, which the then Chairman of Wimbledon, Herman David stated “it must be constitutional”. Once the LTA had passed a motion for an open Wimbledon in 1968 LTA Chairman Derek Hardwick then proposed that Britain should abolish the distinction between amateur and professional players at British tournaments.

With support from Herman David, Hardwick & Penman sought to gain international support over the next three months and travelled around the world garnering support from the US and other nations. After an emergency meeting of ILTF member nations in Paris on March 30 1968, Open tournaments were sanctioned, and the British Hard Court Championships was the first to be played in this era.

The LTA is celebrating their pioneering role and legacy in the forming of professional tennis by welcoming Tim Henman, players from the first Open Era tournament in 1968 including Sue Mappin, Frances McLennan, John Clifton and John Paish and future stars of British Tennis to an event on 29 April 2018. The event will commemorate the role the LTA and West Hants Club together played in paving the way for professional tennis across the globe. Former British No.1 Henman will play an exhibition doubles match with fellow former British professionals Miles Maclagan, John Feaver & John Paish, there will also be a match between the former British professionals and junior players from West Hants on the day.

This year also marks a number of other notable landmarks in the history of tennis, including the 130thanniversary of the founding of the LTA and the 40thanniversary of the first-ever BBC broadcast of the Eastbourne International – which saw Martina Navratilova beat Chris Evert two weeks ahead of her maiden Wimbledon title. 2018 will also mark the 40thconsecutive year the BBC have televised the Queen’s Club Championships, which started in 1979.

To find out more about the Open Era and the evolution of tennis in the past 50 years, visit