Press Release | 23 Jun 2022

Local junior tennis talent competes for chance to play at Wimbledon

The competition, supported by Vodafone ambassador Tim Henman, is part of the company’s commitment to grow grassroots tennis across the UK.

  • Promising junior tennis players from across the East Midlands competed this weekend in the regional finals of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone.
  • As the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK with over 15,000 playing opportunities across over 2,000 clubs, the tournament gives players the chance to play on Wimbledon’s iconic grass courts this summer.
  • Doubles partners Isabella Cockrell, 16, and Bethany Pye, 15; and Dylan Davies, 14, and Harry Bell, 14, won the girls and boys tournaments respectively, booking their place at Wimbledon.
  • The competition, which took place at Nottingham Tennis Centre, was delivered in partnership with the LTA and The All England Lawn Tennis Club, and was supported by Vodafone ambassador Tim Henman, as part of the company’s commitment to grow grassroots tennis across the UK.

Junior tennis players from across the East Midlands took part in the regional finals of the LTA and AELTC’s grassroots tournament Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, competing for the chance to play on Wimbledon’s iconic grass courts this summer.

On 18-19 June 2022, 11 talented U18s doubles pairings battled it out at The LTA’s Nottingham Tennis Centre for a chance to compete at the National Finals taking place on Wimbledon’s Aorangi Courts in August. The pairing of Isabella Cockrell, 16, (Leicestershire) and Bethany Pye, 15, (Worcestershire), ultimately prevailed two sets to love in a closely contested final match. Harry Bell, 14, (Leicestershire) and Dylan Davies, 14, (Derbyshire) won a round-robin style competition to secure their spots, winning three of their four matches in straight sets.

Discussing the tournament, Isabella and Bethany said: “We’ve really enjoyed playing in today’s tournament – it’s been a really great experience. It’s amazing to have won the chance to play at Wimbledon, and to see what it’s like for the professional players that actually play there.

“It’s an amazing opportunity – we’re really excited.”

The winners will be invited to immerse themselves in the true Wimbledon experience, competing in whites and touring the historic Grounds and Museum.

Vodafone teams up with teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu to inspire the next generation of players

Emma will support the brand’s commitment to help grow grassroots tennis in the UK, using Vodafone connectivity to expand access to the sport for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The event at Nottingham Tennis Centre was one of over 2,000 across 716 venues nationwide, planned this summer as part of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, delivering approximately 15,000 opportunities for amateur players to compete. From 2023, the LTA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club are looking to expand the competition further, including through the introduction of additional age groups and disability categories, which Vodafone is proud to support.

East Midlands winners Dylan Davies (left) & Harry Bell (right).

Vodafone Ambassador Tim Henman said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve engaged so many young people from the East Midlands area to take part today. For me, the chance to compete at an iconic venue like Wimbledon was a dream come true, so I’m looking forward to seeing the winners get the opportunity to do that at the national finals.”

Vodafone Consumer Director Max Taylor said: “We’re thrilled to bring Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, to the East Midlands to provide more competitive playing opportunities for young people, as part of our broader vision to democratise the sport and connect a new generation of fans and players.

“We want to wish the winners from today the best of luck at the national finals and hope they have an amazing experience at Wimbledon in August.”

Oliver Scadgell, Participation Director at the LTA, said: “By working with Vodafone and the All England Club on this competition, we’re continuing our vision to open up tennis and grow the sport at a grassroots level. It’s great to see so many young people engaged in the East Midlands and we’re excited to see participation numbers increase even more in the future

Gus Henderson, Commercial Director at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, said “We are delighted to work with the LTA and Vodafone to build on the strong heritage of the Road to Wimbledon, relaunching and expanding it to become the UK’s biggest individual mass participation competition.

“Our aim is to encourage more young people to try tennis and develop a love of the game, with the chance to play on the grass courts at Wimbledon as a compelling inspiration factor.”

Launched in March, the latest iteration of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone (previously known as the Road to Wimbledon) is delivered by Vodafone in partnership with the LTA, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, forming part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to support grassroots tennis in the UK, whilst encouraging more people to pick up a racket.

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Notes to Editors

About Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone

Formerly known as the Road to Wimbledon, the event was championed by the late Paul Hutchins MBE, former British Davis Cup Captain. It was first held in the UK in 2002, with the addition of qualifying tournaments in several Asian nations introduced between 2014 and 2019. Having paused the event due to the pandemic and given the introduction of a 14&U event to the Junior Championships to be hosted during the second week of The Championships from 2022, the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the LTA took the opportunity to reimagine the mass participation competition with a sole focus on UK participants.

Entries for Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, opened on 1 March 2022, with thousands of players from clubs, parks and schools in the UK set to take part in the 14&U girls’ and boys’ singles and 18&U girls’ and boys’ doubles.

Winners will progress to county and regional finals held in June and July where they can secure their place at the national finals, to be held at the Wimbledon Aorangi courts from 7-13 August 2022.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

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