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IC Germany victorious in thrilling Final against IC GB in the Compass IC European Junior Challenge in Barcelona

IC Germany victorious in thrilling Final against IC GB in the Compass IC European Junior Challenge in Barcelona

Eight European IC nations contested the 16 & under Compass IC European Junior Challenge from 1 – 5 September 2009, hosted at the Club Esportiu Valldoreix in Barcelona, Spain, with Germany beating Great Britain in a thrilling Final.

The eight countries competing included: Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Norway

Valldoreix Tennis Club, Barcelona
1 – 6 September 2009
A very successful event which took place at the fantastic Valldoreix Tennis Club
on the marvellous and well maintained clay courts. The location and facilities at the Club were excellent with tremendous support for the event by the President and members of the Club. The event commenced on Tuesday 1 September with the arrival of the teams and the Finals took place on Saturday 5 September with the departure of the teams on Sunday 6 September.

The organisation was superb with much support and assistance given by Roger Badia, the General Manager of Barcelona Total Tennis and his assistant Sonia to
Shali Hutchins – the Tournament Director, which helped with the smooth running
of the event all week. Barcelona Total Tennis is the management company fully responsible for the tennis side of the Valldoreix Tennis Club. Berta Tintore of IC Spain had done a great job in getting all the preparatory work in place before the event commenced, which all contributed to the huge success of the event.

The participating teams were: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Each team comprised of two boys, two girls and one adult captain and the match format was each of the four players played a singles match against the opposing team player followed by a boys’ doubles and a girls’ doubles match, with a total of six matches. If the matches were 3-3 then a 10 point match tie break was played with a mixed doubles pairing. This was a very successful format as towards the end of the week and as well as in the Finals, some of the matches involved the mixed doubles 10 point match tie break to find the winning team.

Barcelona was a perfect choice this year for this prestigious European event. Many of the visiting team members had not visited the city of Barcelona, therefore the tour of the City arranged by IC Spain was most enthusiastically received by all the team members and a great treat, which took place on Wednesday 2 September. The tour was followed by a most splendid welcome dinner, hosted jointly by the Real Tennis Club of Barcelona and IC Spain. Mr. Juan Maria Tintore, the President of IC Spain and the President of the Real Tennis Club were most generous and very welcoming hosts and our sincere thanks to them both for a wonderful welcome dinner..

The dinner was very well attended by the various institutions who joined together to stage this event. Thanks to Consell Catalan de l’Esport, Federacio Espanola de Tenis, Federacio Catalana de Tenis, RCTB-1899 and IC Spain. Mr. Julian Tatum accompanied by his wife Gina Tatum, represented the IC Council at the dinner. Compass, the official sponsor of the event, were also well represented headed by the Operations Director – Mr. Juan Oliver, accompanied by members of the Compass top management.

The official hotel where all eight teams were accommodated was the Aparthotel Park Sedo, which was extremely good. Breakfast was served at the hotel each morning for all the team members and dinner for three of the 5 nights. Everyone enjoyed their stay at this hotel and appreciated the support and organisation of the hotel staff and management. Each morning the coach arrived at 8.30 am to take the teams to the Club (a 15 minute coach ride) and delivered them back to the hotel at the end of the day.

All teams arrived on Tuesday morning with practice in the afternoon. The draw took place at the Captains meeting at 6.00 pm on Tuesday. There were two Groups, namely Group A and B. After the draw the two groups comprised of the following teams:
Group A: Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Sweden
Group B: Germany, Italy, Norway and Russia.
The official referee Laia Santamaria, was selected by the Spanish Tennis Federation, and did a very good job in officiating.

The round robin matches took place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with the Finals and play-offs taking place on Saturday 5 September. The Final was between Germany and Great Britain, the two teams that came first in each group. In the play-offs, team 2 played the opposing team 2, team 3 played the opposing team 3 and team 4 played the opposing team 4. On all five days the matches were played on 8 superb clay courts with the Finals being played in the Grandstand court, which had stands for spectator viewing. The groundstaff at the Club did a splendid job in maintaining the courts throughout the week.

On Thursday afternoon, the Clinic for the handicapped took place. There were six handicapped players on court, and the Clinic was magnificently led by the Tennis Coach who works with handicapped players at the Sergi Bruguera Tennis Academy. Players, Captains and officials joined in to help with the Clinic, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the handicapped players.

The Finals Gala dinner graciously hosted by Mr. Juan Oliver of Compass and was perfectly organised. The teams were all collected from the hotel and taken to the Barca Stadium for a specially guided tour of the Stadium facilities. The Final dinner took place in the elegant President’s suite at the Barca Stadium and it was absolutely fantastic evening. It was very well attended by many guests and dignitaries and our thanks to Mr. Juan Oliver for a beautifully organised tour and a tremendous Finals dinner.

The Finals and the Play-offs took place on the Saturday starting at 10.30 am on
8 superb clay courts. Germany beat Great Britain in a close Final. Four of the six matches in the Finals went to a third set tie break. All the matches were of a very
high standard. The presentation ceremony took place after the completion of all the matches. The trophies were presented by Mr. Juan Maria Tintore, Mr. Juan Oliver
and the President of the Valldoreix Tennis Club. IC Spain also presented the team members with medals as a memento of this successful event.

The teams all departed on Sunday 6 September having participated in true sportsmanship and style and having made many new friendships. They all certainly experienced and appreciated the true meaning and message of the IC.

The IC Council’s thanks and appreciation to IC Spain, the Catalan Tennis Federation, the Spanish Tennis Federation, the Catalan Ministry of Sport, the Real Club Tennis, the Valldoreix Tennis Club and most especially, a very special thank you to Compass – the official sponsor of the event.

September 2009

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