A week of winners - find out what happened when Local Tennis league players visited the Rafa Nadal Academy for our first-ever tournament week!
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What a week… seven days of sun (mostly), tennis and great company all within the wonderful setting of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca. What more could anyone ask for, though Swindon Local League player, Julian, got a pleasant surprise on his return to the UK:
“Thought my trousers were a bit slack on the way back! Lost 7lbs! Think all due to less alcohol, more exercise and healthier food? Hope I can keep it off!”
The weight loss might not have made up for losing the mixed singles final – played on Rafa’s very own centre court – but it is a great endorsement of all our players decision to start the year not in the gym but on the tennis-courts of this world-class venue.
This was Local Tennis Leagues' second trip to the Academy, and the first time that we had hosted our own tournament here.
16 players took part in the action - a week dedicated to friendly, competitive, tennis. As well as the mixed singles (a double elimination format that meant everyone had two matches in the main draw) we teamed up to play a mixed doubles round robin and played any number of friendly matches.
The Academy is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s top performance venues, which given its connection to Rafa Nadal is hardly surprising. But Rafa, his uncle Toni, and the other members of the Nadal venue involved in the business, have even higher ambitions.
The Academy champions the family’s strong sense of values. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone has equal access to the highest quality facilities. Built in Rafa’s home town, many of its employees come from Manacor and many have known Rafa since childhood. In the luxury spa and high-quality restaurant locals mix regularly with guests from all over the world – and you are more than likely to bump into one of Rafa’s family or even the man himself if he isn’t on tour.
For Local Tennis Leagues it is now our home from home and the incredibly friendly staff welcomed us all as if we were old friends. Not only that, the Academy now plays an important role in supporting the values we think are so important to making the leagues a success.
Our week started with a special coaching session run by the Academy’s team which was perfect for a group of players who play for fun, but also take their tennis seriously.
Most of the players, whose ages ranged from late twenties to late 60s, had never met before but were soon firm friends (and friendly rivals on court). When we weren’t playing we breakfasted and dined together (enjoying dinner at the chic Can March in Manacor which served great local food, on the last night). We even tested our tennis knowledge with a lively quiz night, and four of us ventured into Palma for a short walking tour and delicious break for seafood tapas in the extraordinary city market.
“Great tennis, lovely people, super week,” Chris emailed us on his return. “It was a real privilege to meet you all,” adds Omer; “I don't think we could have had a nicer, more interesting bunch of people. And some great tennis was played too!”
And that is just a few of the many lovely comments we have received, and all of us have agreed to keep in touch. (Alan, I’m looking forward to playing doubles with you in the Pavilion League!)
“Thank you all very much for this great week!” says Eva. But the thanks as always go to the players. Whether you were a winner on court or not, your team work, friendliness and support of our Local League’s values, is hugely appreciated. Rafa would be proud of you!