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Article by Kaz Russell-Graham | 26th June 2019

Local legacy to get children into sport

Former top tennis player Naomi Cavaday, from Kent, and ex-Olympic triple jumper Michelle Robinson are both backing a new children’s tennis initiative being launched in memory of nine-year-old Kent tennis player, Sadie Bristow, who died last year after suffering an extreme allergic reaction.

Sadie was modest about her huge achievements, which included becoming the UK’s number one player in her age category, as well as winning many tournaments and representing the Kent County Team. Despite her young age, Sadie was recognised as someone who both encouraged others in their sport – and made the people around her smile!

Naomi and Michelle took to the courts at the recent launch of the charity’s Sadie’s Way Tennis for Children Programme, where they were joined by pupils from Chartham (where Sadie was a pupil) and Bridge and Patrixbourne Primary Schools. The programme aims to provide free coaching and learning modules to local schools to help children learn ‘Sadie’s Way’ of playing, which promotes both understanding and kindness, as well as athletic ability in tennis.

Naomi is thrilled to support the programme, believing that it’s important to give children the opportunity to enjoy learning tennis. “It’s not about playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” she says, “it’s about giving kids a new skill, encouraging them to be active and have fun together.”

Michelle was delighted to see so many children giving tennis a try, and is also equally proud to support the Foundation, saying: “Sport is important for building children’s confidence, and instilling a love of sport and being active early on.”

Summer activities will include Sadie’s Days across Kent in tennis clubs, tennis camps and a finals event at Queen’s Club in August. And if you love skiing, then check the website – sadiebristowfoundation.org.ukfor information on Ski for Sadie challenge ski event taking place in January 2020.

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