Captain’s Latest Report

 

Attention all Runnymede Royals

 

ROYALS STRIKE GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE IN AMSTERDAM INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT 2018

 

The third International Tournament took place in Amsterdam from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th May 2018.

 

More than 240 players from over 18 countries took part in singles, men’s doubles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles.

 

This superbly organised event was held in Almere, to the East of the city centre, in a fantastic facility boasting 16 courts and a bar that stayed open all day!!!

 

RRPC was represented by the following gallant warriors;-

 

Sue Harris
Wendy Marks
Jane Mulligan
Sandy Homewood
Christine Coe
Frank Arico
Tony Coe
Leo Gonzalez
Paul Hughes
Derek Jackson
Alan Speller
Ajoy Sachdev

 

Cheerleading and club photography was ably provided by club members Jackie Arico and Steve Harris respectively.

 

We travelled out before the weekend’s competition and most of us were able to take advantage of extended practice play in Haarlem on the Thursday evening and at the Almere Poort Topsportcentre on the Friday evening.

 

The tournament put players in ability groups 2.5,3.0,3.5,4.0,4.5 & 5.0 and within each group there were initial round robin “leagues” of representative sizes, followed by semi-finals, finals and third place playoffs for each group.

 

First to kick off on Friday afternoon, mad fools all of them, were Sue Harris, Tony Coe and Leo Gonzalez in the SINGLES…….

 

They gave it their all but unfortunately didn’t survive through to the medals stage.

 

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Saturday was dedicated to both Ladies and Mens doubles and our club pairings were;-

 

Sue Harris & Sandy Homewood
Jane Mulligan & Wendy Marks
Christine Coe with her partner from another club
Alan Speller & Ajoy Sachdev
Frank Arico & Paul Hughes
Derek Jackson with a partner from another club
Tony Coe with a partner from another club
Leo Gonzalez with a partner from another Country

 

After all the round robin games were done, and the points totted up, we had semi-final berths with;-

 

Jane Mulligan & Wendy Marks
Sue Harris & Sandy Homewood
Alan Speller & Ajoy Sachdev
Tony Coe & his partner

 

These gave way to the finals where we were superbly represented by;-

 

Jane Mulligan & Wendy Marks in the Ladies 3.5 group
Alan Speller & Ajoy Sachdev in the Men’s 3.5 group

 

Both pairs, with muscles flagging & beer beckoning, gave good accounts but came up just short so we came away with TWO SILVER MEDALS.

 

 

Sue Harris & Sandy Homewood battled away in their third place playoff and came away victorious with a BRONZE MEDAL.

 

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So, day two over, Three medals in the bag, time for essential rehydration……..

 

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Sunday was dedicated to Mixed Doubles and RRPC was represented by;-

 

Ajoy Sachdev & Sue Harris
Paul Hughes & Wendy Marks
Alan Speller & Jane Mulligan

 

and, with partners from other clubs;-

 

Frank Arico
Derek Jackson
Tony Coe
Christine Coe
Sandy Homewood
Leo Gonzalez

 

Once again, the full day’s program of round robins came and went and RRPC ended up with these semi-final spots ;-

 

Paul Hughes & Wendy Marks
Ajoy Sachdev & Sue Harris
Christine Coe & her partner from another club
Frank Arico & his partner from another club

 

Both pairs finding energy reserves from somewhere, Paul & Wendy were drawn against Ajoy & Sue and came away victorious to advance to the final of the Mixed 3.5 group.

 

Christine and her partner fought valiantly and came away with a SILVER in the Mixed 3.0 final.

 

 

 

 

Ajoy & Sue went into the third place 3.5 playoff and did the business – a BRONZE medal.

 

Frank and his partner followed the same path and scooped their 3.0 group playoff – another BRONZE medal.

 

And so to the the Grand Finale of the 3.5 Mixed Doubles group.

 

 

Packing the excellent elevated viewing gallery we all watched a truly gladiatorial combat between Paul & Wendy and their opponents, a game which swung more times than a general election.

 

With the score at 13-13, Paul & Wendy have the serve, then go 14-13 up, and, showing no mercy, they power through to win 15-13… GOOOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDDD

(Paul had to dash to the airport so he asked yours truly to accompany Wendy to the rostrum to receive his Gold Medal)

 

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So, to summarise, RRPC return triumphantly from Amsterdam #3 with;-

 

1 x GOLD
3 x SILVER
3 x BRONZE

 

What a fantastic effort by all who made the journey to represent our club and a huge well done to all the medal winners.

Cheers girls & boys,

Al Capitano

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2018 Season : Spring/Summer playing & competition report

 

JANUARY 13th:
We had our first friendly match against South London Area Pickleball (aka SLAP) at their sports centre in the Richard Challoner School, Malden.  SLAP are a very well organised club and play at a very high standard, as we found out on the day. RRPC put up a good fight but we were soundly beaten, going down by 165 to 76 points. We will attempt to get some revenge when SLAP visit us for the return match later this year.

 

Since our club was formed in late 2014 this is only our second defeat against all the clubs we play against.

 

APRIL 25th & 26th:
The away leg of our bi-annual Inter-club tournament and club session play with Torfaen PC in Cwmbran, South Wales, duly took place with a group of 15 RRPC club players, along with a few “cheerleaders” making the M4 trek.  This was the fifth encounter between our two clubs and Torfaen have grown both in numbers and ability and they recorded their first win against us.

 

As always, we were invited to join in with their club session the following morning along with our variety of “conditions” from the previous day’s play and the evening revelries over dinner.  At The Priory Hotel in Caerleon the night before both clubs got together with 32 of us toasting, analysing & consoling according to all sorts of factors.

 

The return match with us hopefully will be in the early autumn.

 

MAY 3rd:
OUTDOOR Pickleball returns at Watchetts Park, Camberley.  This is every Thursday from 5-8pm, weather permitting.  Shelter and rehydration always available to us at the Rugby Club bar right alongside the courts!!

 

MAY 10th:
Our first friendly match against Beaconsfield PC took place at their sports centre.  Peter Gibbs, also an RRPC member, fielded a squad of 16 players to take on our depleted squad of 12 and very kindly lent us some of his players to balance the numbers.
A close encounter in many respects but RRPC managed to run out as winners recording a scoreline of 51 to 33 points, which included a total game tally of W23 D2 L15.

Well done to both teams and a huge thanks to assistant scorekeeper, our own Karen Rust.

The match was immediately followed by a slap up Nepalese curry buffet in The Royal Oak, Stokenchurch.  Thanks to joint club member Navin Gurung for hosting the superb meal.

 

MAY 25th-27th:
The Third International Pickleball Tournament takes place in Amsterdam with over 200 entrants from around the world!
We have a healthy bunch of RRPC members taking part;-
• Alan Speller
• Ajoy Sachdev
• Paul Hughes
• Frank Arico
• Derek Jackson
• Leo Gonzalez
• Tony Coe
• Christine Coe
• Jane Mulligan
• Sue Harris
• Sandy Homewood
• Wendy Marks

 

Good luck to everybody – let’s bag some medals!!

 

JUNE 30th & JULY 1st:
The Third National OUTDOOR tournament takes place in Ramsgate. Several RRPC members are already signed up and entry is still open.
Check it out on the organising website under “Tournaments and Events”;-www.gbpickleball.co.uk

 

JULY 20th-22nd:
The First ITALIAN OPEN Tournament in Montesilvano is now open for bookings. You can finda everythinga you needa to know on this website;- www.pickleballitaly.org/italian-open1/schedule-of-events

 

AUGUST: Friday 24th August
Is an evening social outing on a narrow boat with fish & chip supper. More details will follow from our RRPC organisers.

 

SEPTEMBER:
Probably the annual Madrid International Tournament. Yet to be confirmed.

 

OCTOBER:
RRPC go to The Villages in Florida, aka Pickleball Heaven (along with lots of Happy Hours….). So far there are 13 of us going between the dates of October 2nd and 23rd.
If anybody is keen to tag along contact: Alan Speller (Club Captain) alan.speller@virginmedia.com

 

NOVEMBER:
End of season Club dinner – date to be confirmed.

 

DECEMBER:
The traditional RRPC year end jamboree with an internal club “competition fun day” with mandatory Xmas fancy dress.. Date to be confirmed.

 

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CLUB SESSIONS
As you will all, hopefully, know we have SIX different sessions each week.  All members receive the Weekly Scheduler where you can sign in, or out, for the week ahead.  A huge thanks to Frank Arico for creating this easy to use email based system which is very important for the club to make sure we get the correct number of courts each week.  These sessions are, in weekday order;-

• MONDAY 6 to 8pm at Charters – now branded “Superleague” and superbly orchestrated by Frank Arico.  A huge well done to Frank for dragging us into the sophisticated world with his easy to use software and for his immaculate preparation of each session.
This session is under continuous review and we will be introducing new formats, specific drills, etc.
• TUESDAY 1 to 2pm at Lightwater – with our ball machine, and drills hosted by yours truly & club coach Paul Telling
• TUESDAY 2 to 4pm at Lightwater – thanks again to Derek Jackson for keeping everybody honest and also a massive thanks to both Don Groves and Frank Pepe who are always there helping to setup the nets etc each week.
• WEDNESDAY 1:30 to 3:30 at Camberley Arena – Frank Pepe looks after this session.
• THURSDAY 5 to 8pm at Watchetts Park, Camberley – OUTDOOR play where we have 4 courts available. This session is looked after by Terry Inskip. “Refreshments” always available in the rugby club next door!!
• SATURDAY 10:15 to 12:30 at Charters – until the end of June 2018 we have access to up to 4 courts so keep your diary handy & come along.

 

OTHER NEWS
We are still seeking additional evening playing venue options with more ideal starting times of, e.g. 18:30/19:00 etc, to give those who have to work a more comfortable journey and a chance to play midweek.

 

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PLANS & ACTIVITIES FOR 2018 & 2019 :

 

DOMESTIC:
• Inter-Club Home & Away Matches (approx 1 per month)
o Farnham Picklers [tba]
o S.L.A.P. [recovering from our recent away game, return WILL happen]
o Torfaen PC – return match probably in late Autumn/early Winter.
o Bristol [challenge accepted, awaiting dates]
o Beaconsfield – return match challenge offered, awaiting feedback.

 

INTERNATIONAL:

 

• May – 3rd International Tournament, AMSTERDAM
• July – Italian Open, MONTESILVANO
• September – 4th International Tournament, MADRID
• October – RRPC Club Trip to The Villages, FLORIDA
• January 2019 – International Yetti hunt with some pickleball…..

 

Alan Speller
Club Captain (2018)n