Justine takes time out to visit local school in Eastbourne!
Hi guys this article was on the eastbourne tourney website. Enjoy!
Justine's the star attraction at local school
French Open champion and world number three Justine Henin-Hardenne took some time off from preparing for the Hastings Direct International Championships today to spend time with pupils of Pevensey & Westham Primary School. The pupils were able to demonstrate their tennis skills to the Belgian sensation who has over her tennis career to date captured 24 titles including the US Open, Australian Open and French Open.
Pevensey & Westham Primary School is just minutes away from Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park which from 17th-24th June plays host to many of the top names in women’s tennis. Justine Henin-Hardenne, who is making her debut at the Hastings Direct International Championships, was warmly welcomed into the school where a mini tennis demonstration was taking place. The Belgian star did not hesitate to join in with the activities and was soon passing on tennis tips to an enthralled audience.
Justine Henin-Hardenne said;” It’s great to be able to come to a school and meet the kids. I never had the opportunity to play tennis at school but I think it’s very important to encourage tennis. The kids were a bit shy to begin with but after five minutes they were playing good tennis.”
She added: “I like Eastbourne, it’s a beautiful place, the tournament has great organisation. It’s not easy to switch surfaces, I only played one match on grass last year but I like it. I’ve had some good results at Wimbledon and I hope that I can get a good few matches here.”
Patrick Fleming, head teacher of Pevensey & Westham Primary School said; “Justine’s visit is a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to meet a world class player. She is an inspirational figure and something that they really appreciate. We have some very good players here at the school of all ages and we are looking forward to taking classes down to the tournament where there are plenty of activities for them and I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic day.”
Meanwhile over 1,000 kids from local schools and clubs have been invited to visit the Championships this week and as well as watching some superb tennis, they will have the opportunity to test their tennis skills in the LTA Play Tennis zone which is being run by the Sussex LTA.
Tickets are currently on sale for the Hastings Direct International Championships which offers tennis fans a fantastic opportunity to watch some of the world’s finest players. Ticket information is available from the box office 01323 412000. Qualifying for this year’s event will take place between Saturday 17th and Monday 19th of June 2006. The main draw will be played between Monday 19th and Saturday 24th June 2006 at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne. Each day’s play will commence at 11:30am.