On a visit to Middlesex University Real Tennis Club on Thursday 22nd November, the Earl of Wessex met 25 children from local schools who are learning to play real tennis as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award. He also played matches with four Middlesex students and Club members, and toured the University’s newest and most innovative building, the Ritterman, where he met one of the resident robots, Pepper.
Real tennis is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of tennis is derived. The Earl has undertaken a year-long challenge to play on all the world's real tennis courts - using his skills in the sport gained doing his Gold DofE - to raise support for the DofE charity. This will enable a new generation to begin their DofE journey, in the UK and abroad.
“We pride ourselves on being an integral part of our community and working with local schools and colleges is incredibly important to us. We wish all the young people who met The Earl today the best of luck with their DofE challenges and we hope today was a special experience for them.” Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University
Doing a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award offers young people aged 14-24 a unique opportunity to grow and gain valuable life experience while developing essential employability skills such as confidence, resilience and drive. The journey doesn’t end with achieving an award: many Award holders carry on volunteering, honing their skills or improving their fitness.
Professor Tim Blackman, Vice- Chancellor of Middlesex University said: “Middlesex University is delighted to host HRH The Earl of Wessex’s visit and be part of his commitment to young people involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
“We pride ourselves on being an integral part of our community and working with local schools and colleges is incredibly important to us. We wish all the young people who met the Earl the best of luck with their DofE challenges and we hope the day was a special experience for them.”
Commenting on the visit, Nick Hamilton, Chair of Middlesex University Real Tennis Club (MURTC) said: “As a DofE Charity Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, whatever their background or circumstance. We are grateful for his dedication to the charity and taking on this challenge.
"HRH’s support, and the generosity of so many local partners, will help us extend our real tennis outreach to local schools and work towards the ambition for all young people to have the opportunity to do their DofE. The Earl’s enthusiasm for real tennis shows that the impact of a DofE Award really does last a lifetime and that this fascinating sport can be open to all.”