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Recent social event - The Italian job.  Big thanks to Denis.

Henfield Tennis Club – “The Italian Job” virtual exercise event

With Covid 19 social distancing rules over the past year throwing a spanner in our normal tennis club social calendar – some creative thinking has been taking place to come up with a new fun event whilst still staying safe.

The upshot was the “Italian Job”! and details were advertised to club members via email and Facebook. Effectively this was a one-week exercise challenge from 22 to 28 February. In “virtual mode” the aim was to start in Turin (base of the Michael Caine mini car film) and travel as far down Italy as possible adding all participant mileage together. Cycling, walking, or running were the three agreed modes of motion. As per Boris J and Matt H instructions - all exercise did of course take place locally in places such as the Downslink and South Downs!

There were 12 hardy participants – divided into three teams:

Team Capri – Liz Brindley, Roger Brindley, Steve Sample and Lynda Sample

Team Sicily – Mark Eastell, Sue Eastell, Amanda Saunders and Richard Deakin

Team Sardinia – Denis Muirden, Sally Muirden, Jayne Dempster and John Dempster

In addition to the club total mileage challenge we also had a competition between the three teams – 3 points for every mile covered on foot or 1 point for every mile on the bike. Results were reported daily to keep everyone on their toes!

Results – Club Challenge – Initial challenge was to see if we could reach as far south as the City of Pisa (famous for leaning tower) in Tuscany – some 208 miles south of Turin. However, we grossly underestimated the enthusiasm of the team members who reached Pisa on Day 2! Thereafter the target then shifted to Rome, then to Naples and then finally to Reggio Calabria the most southerly town on the Italian mainland. Even this target was passed – so rather than going for a swim in the Mediterranean – the tennis club headed over the Messina Suspension Bridge to Sicily – finally ending up at a beautiful old Ionian Coast Roman City called Syracuse. This amounted to total distance travelled of 944 miles!

Results – team challenge - Using the points system Team Sicily won the competition with a total of 527.5. Maybe this was why the event terminated on the Island - despite protests from Capri and Sardinia about the Mafia revival and Mount Etna eruptions! In an extremely close battle for second place Team Capri just nudged in front of Team Sardinia with 437 points versus 428.

We would like to thank all the participants for their exhaustive efforts. Rather than take a well-deserved rest, some have already suggested the club running a second virtual exercise event – possibly the last week in March - to get fit for the tennis court re-opening! One suggestion has been “the French Connection.” However, we do first need to square the nomenclature with the Tennis Committee - to take part in a second crime themed 70’s movie may not be good for the tennis club reputation!

Thanks to all and watch this space!


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We are very proud of receiving this prestigious honour at the Tennis Sussex Awards held at the American Express Community Stadium on 12th November 2016.

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