Dewsbury youngster set to play at Wimbledon in finals of national tennis event


Neo Hodkinson will be among the junior tennis players from across the UK taking part in the national finals of the LTA and AELTC’s grassroots tournament Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, at The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Talented players aged 18 and under have battled it out in county and regional competitions hosted up and down the nation, with winners earning the chance to play at the national finals, taking place on Wimbledon’s iconic grass courts.

The competitors will be invited to immerse themselves in the true Wimbledon experience, playing on grass, competing in whites and touring the historic grounds and museum.

Neo Hodkinson from Dewsbury has battled it out in the county and regional competition to make it to Wimbledon. Photo: Getty Images

For those who just missed out on the national finals, there will also be a coaching clinic hosted by British legend and Vodafone ambassador, Tim Henman.

Played on Wimbledon’s Aorangi Courts, the competition will feature singles and doubles for both boys and girls.

The event is the final stage of Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone, with this year’s competition already delivering more than 10,000 playing opportunities for amateur junior players to compete.

Tim said: “Playing at Wimbledon was always the highlight of my year during my tennis career, so it’s wonderful to work with Vodafone to support Play Your Way to Wimbledon, and give the next generation of tennis talent a chance to play at SW19.”

Vodafone consumer director, Max Taylor, said: “We are looking forward to what is set to be a week-long celebration of grassroots tennis.

“Play Your Way to Wimbledon has provided playing opportunities to 10,000 young players across 800 venues. We’re looking forward to working with the LTA, AELTC and our Vodafone tennis ambassadors to expand the competition, and deliver even more opportunities to play in the coming years.”

Oliver Scadgell, participation director at the LTA, said: “Play Your Way to Wimbledon, Powered by Vodafone this year has provided a fantastic opportunity for thousands of young people across the country to participate in tennis; culminating in this week-long finals stage for our regional champions.

“With the ongoing support of Vodafone and the All England Club, we’re excited to continue in our goal of growing tennis at the grassroots level and getting more people involved in the sport in the future.”

Gus Henderson, commercial director at the All England Club, said: “After the success of this year’s tournament and all the hard work each player has put in over the last few weeks, we’re delighted to welcome competitors to the national finals at Wimbledon .

“Seeing the excitement and dedication from the players, staff and partners over the last few weeks provides even more encouragement for us to build on the heritage of the competition and provide even more opportunities to access the sport in the future.”

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 and The All England Lawn Tennis Club, forming part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to support grassroots tennis in the UK, while encouraging more people to pick up a racket.

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