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Rainy day stops play!

Rainy dayHere in Spain recently locals have experienced forest fires and severe drought so the current heavy rain fall is actually being viewed as a relief by many. Of course for those of us wishing to play hardcourt tennis at the club the rain puts a halt to such activity.

Time therefore to allow aches and niggles in our legs to settle down before the weather improves.

When it rains here it does it in no small measures! Torrential rain with thunder and lightning- very very frightening indeed! Sorry Freddie – couldn’t resist it.

The economy in Spain struggles with it’s own rainy day, along with constant talk of bail outs and unemployment. Without the tourist trade – mainly from the British Isles and Scandinavia- it would be even worse. Of young people, 50% are unemployed and many leave to seek work abroad, mainly Germany or Britain. It is a desperate position and of course splits up families, which are a strong feature of Spanish life. No one can remember when the economy was so bad.

At the tennis club here in Miraflores it is a family-run enterprise with husband and wife Fernando and Maria at the helm. He is chief coach while Maria takes court bookings and serves drinks and tapas to club members. Sons Ferdi and Alberto help out and Fernando’s brother Jose also coaches. Ex GB Davis Cup player Stuart Bale is a specialist coach here and has some top juniors in his care.

Having chatted briefly with Stuart his experiences on the tour could easily be the ingredients of a tennis book! I could listen to him all day and more!

As regards coaching juniors in Belfast, Ireland and GB perhaps money would be better spent on training camps out here, integrating our best with their peers. There are some very good international schools. Just note the number of top 50 world players emerging from the Spanish set up! They must be doing something right!

Ah I see the sun beginning to shine again. Time to dust down the tennis shoes!

Hasta luego!
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