Risbygate Sports Club

Highlights of 2022

Club Championship 2022

Risbygate Tennis Club concluded their annual club championships with a final’s day for adult and junior competitors on Sunday 18 September.

Over 80 club members took part throughout the competition over two weekends in September. 13 matches took place on finals day. From the youngest aged 6 to the over 60’s there was competition for all ages.

The rising star was 14-year-old Erin Berry who not only won the women’s competition but also won the women’s double alongside partner Grace Beasley, and mixed doubles alongside partner Brenton Mattheus. Brenton said, “Erin dealt our opponents powerful blows and never flinched under pressure. She showed significant control of her game and was an amazing partner to play with. We’re both incredibly pleased with the result.”

Men’s team captain Asa Sumner Keens was unbeatable in his final, securing the men’s title for consecutive years. Despite fierce competition from opponent Sam Ratcliffe, and powerful rallies between both players, Asa’s match experience enabled him to get a tight grip on the game and win the title.
Reflecting on the junior competition Paul Hope, Titan Tennis Academy Director and co-organiser, said “Today, our juniors showed us great tenacity and ability to compete among the best in the club. We’re looking forward to seeing how they progress in the future.”

Club secretary and co-organiser, Helen Stacy said “What a fantastic tennis tournament. Well done to all who took part, to everyone who helped and all who supported! It was great to see such high-quality competition from the members who took part. This truly was a celebration of tennis and closed our 2022 summer season in style.”

Club Championship winners:

  • Women’s singles – Erin Berry
  • Men’s singles – Asa Sumner Keens
  • Women doubles over 60s – Gail Corcoran and Frances Alford
  • Men doubles over 60s – Peter and Gary King
  • Mixed doubles – Brenton Mattheus and Erin Berry
  • Men’s doubles – Gary Keens and Asa Sumner Keens
  • Women’s doubles – Erin Berry and Grace Beasley

In our junior section our winners were:

  • Under 8 girls – Ki Pfute
  • Under 8 and under 9 boys – Hugo Booth
  • Under 10 – Holly Price
  • Under 14 boys – Oscar Clark
  • Under 16 girls – Amara Young
  • Under 18 boys – Robbie Bersan

Tennis-a-thon smashes fundraising expectations

“Whether you’re smashing serves against the wall or snatching sets from family and friends, every ball you hit and penny you raise will help our specialist dementia nurses support more families when they need it most.” Dementia UK

On Sunday 17 July a Tennis-a-thon day was help at Risbygate Sports Club raising an incredible £3643.00 for Dementia UK.

Alongside the organiser, Carrie Wotton, nearly 70 volunteers took part 23 tennis matches. Despite a complex order of play, participants were treated to a sunny day, cakes and refreshments plus and lots of laughter on and off the court.

Dementia UK is the dementia specialist nurse charity. The charity’s Admiral Nurses provide life-changing care for families affected by all forms of dementia. If you would like to donate visit – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carrie-wotton1.

Cambridge Dunlop Summer League

A tennis legacy brings the Cambridge Dunlop summer league title back to Risbygate

For the first time in 34 years, Risbygate men’s first team finished first in Division 1 of the Cambridge Dunlop Summer League.

The last time Risbygate men won this tournament was in 1988, with a team captained by the 23-year-old Gary Keens. 34 years later it was Gary’s son, Asa Sumner-Keens (20), who led the team to victory.

Going into the last match of the season, team captain Asa knew that Risbygate only needed a draw to top the league and take the title. However, the final match was against second-placed Great Shelford who were on a winning streak so this was a winner takes all top of the table clash which Risbygate eventually won 6-2.

It was no easy task, as Great Shelford players included Tom Hands, who has achieved a career-high ranking of 854 on the ATP Tour, and Yujiro Onouma, current 750 ITF men’s and the top junior in the country. Both players are full-time tennis professionals, and it was a huge experience for Risbygate to play against them.

Asa and Oscar Wai lost a close-fought first set 6-4 against Great Shelford first pair. But a tactical change of returning sides in the second set proved to be a winning decision to achieve 5-3 up second set. Every game from that point resulted in long deuces and Great Shelford brought it back to 6-6, but Asa and Oscar were able to raise their level again taking the tiebreak comfortably 7-3. Seth Newman and Christof Schaertlin-Coffey won their match against the Great Shelford’s second pair 6-2, 6-1.

Seth and Christof then battled but lost their first set tiebreak against a disheartened Shelford first pair but showed classic Risbygate relentlessness and strength to take the second set 6-3. Asa and Oscar won 6-0, 6-0 against the second pair.

Asa said, “I’m so proud of our team and how each player has performed with grit, commitment and determination to achieve this exceptional result. I’m pleased to bring this title back to Risbygate after my dad achieved this in 1988.”

Winning this league was achieved through a team of players that included Asa Sumner-Keens, Seth Newman, Christof Schaertlin-Coffey, Oscar Wai and Will Cooke-Wharton. They were also supported by second-team players Freddie Clark, Sam Ratcliffe and Gary Keens who played two matches.

Risbygate Men’s first team defying the odds

Sunday 15 May 2022

Risbygate Tennis Club have been firmly putting themselves on the national tennis map as they defy the odds in their campaign in the LTA National League Men’s Open, also called the National Premier League.

Currently third in the league, our men’s first team (sponsored by Pure Resourcing Solutions) have won against Thorpe Bay, Reigate Rhinos and A1 Pharmaceuticals, lost to Roehampton Club and David Lloyd Raynes Park, and have two final matches against Sutton Tennis & Squash Club and Cumberland (Hampstead).

All our incredible players are homegrown talent, regularly playing team tennis at Risbygate. Our team is led by team captain, Asa Sumner-Keens and includes Will Cooke-Wharton, Seth Newman, Ethan Terry, Harper Mills, Haadi Shah and Christof Schaertlin Coffey.

Read the article featured in the Bury Free Press and Suffolk News on 20 May 2022

Credit to Bury Free Press / SuffolkNews

LTA Big Tennis Weekend – Open Day

Saturday 14 May 2022

Risbygate tennis invited Bury St Edmunds to ‘Give Tennis a Go’ at our open day on 14th May 2022. As part of the LTA’s Big Tennis Weekend, children and adults had the opportunity to hit against our ball machine, have a game with other members and try a taster coaching session. The sun shone and lots of fun was had by all.

U8’s smash through their first fixture of the season

Saturday 14 May 2022

A great opening fixture of the season for our U8s. They achieved a 16-0 win against Culford B. Both teams competed well, played brilliant tennis and enjoyed every moment.

The first American Tournament of the season

Saturday 9 April 2022

Twenty club players took to the courts on a cold, sunny afternoon to compete in an American Tournament. This round-robin mixed doubles competition paired participants at random and gave players of all standards the opportunity to get together and sharpen their competitive tennis skills.

Mark Goater won the men’s competition, with Helen Stacy and Ruth Huggins drawing first in the women’s.

Men’s first team take on the mighty Rhino’s

Sunday 10 April 2022

Risbygate men’s first team competed at the highest level of national tennis in their second match of the LTA National Premier League Men’s Open.

Our team of Asa Sumner-Keens, Will Cooke-Wharton, Seth Newman, and Haadi Shah, won 4 – 2 against the Reigate Rhinos. This follows a 4 – 2 win in their first match of the season against Thorpe Bay.

Taking on Reigate Rhinos, the young Risbygate team were beating ATP world-ranked players, a former Wimbledon doubles player and Northamptonshire’s number 1.

Team captain, Asa Sumner-Keens said, “This is by far the best result our team has had and it’s a fantastic achievement. We took on this challenge with great energy, resilience, and a fighting mentality and won hard-fought battles. The team’s spirit was superb, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. These wins have given us confidence that we can compete against bigger clubs.”