River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Anyone for Tennis

August 2002

Is is too elitist?

As I write this we are in the middle of Wimbledon Fortnight, and I just can't stand it. If there is one sport that to me epitomises the class distinction that prevails in this Country then it has to be Tennis. How many people do you know who spend their working day packing vegetables, be it at Methwold or Gooderstone, who play Tennis? I say you can't name me one. The tragedy is that I'm sure Tennis is quite a good game. I use to play it myself when I was a young man. I have to say though that football was without doubt my first love.

What is wrong with the game, at least in this part of the world, is that it is covered with Elitism. How well I remember a friend of mine who years ago was invited to play on someone's private court and walking through the Village he hid his racket under his jacket so no one could see that he was off to play Tennis. Any farm worker or the likes, and that was what my friend was, who did play Tennis was looked upon as some sort of a poof. This question of having a private tennis court, or for that matter your own bowling green, your own snooker table, and so on, and you invite your friends along is a practice I don't go along with. Yes, it's a free Country and you can do as you wish. But this I will say that if snooker, bowls, anything, means so much to me then I say that I have an obligation to take this a stage further and set up a Club in my own Village.

All of these observations reminds me of the days when some of us would meet at Sunday lunch time at the Methwold Social Club. Why we don't do this anymore I don't know. I guess we have 'moved on' whatever that means. What we always use to find was no matter what subject we started with we would at the end of the day finish up back where we started. And so I will always go back to where I started and repeat that if you have an interest in any sport, interest in religion, yes and even an interest in our Village Pump, then you should want to spread that interest far and wide to as many people as you possibly can. You can't be dedicated to something and then want to keep it to yourself and just a few of your buddies; to me that just simply doesn't add up.

Les Lawrence

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