24-hour tennis marathon in aid of local charity

With Andy Murray’s heroic victory to break his Grand Slam duck at the US Open having captivated sports fans across the country, a group of local tennis players are currently busy preparing for their own on-court challenge.

Later this month, six keen amateur players will take to the court at Aboyne Tennis Club to attempt a 24-hour marathon doubles match in aid of a local children’s charity.

The intrepid players – Hitesh Mitchell-Mehta, Mark Lints, Henry Lints, Jonathan Lints, Jason Granville and Kerry Langford – are undertaking the challenge to raise funds for Befriend A Child, an Aberdeen-based organisation which provides a 1:1 befriending service to vulnerable and underprivileged local youngsters in both the City and Shire.

The challenge will see the first serve struck at 12pm on Saturday, September 22nd and the final winner hit at 12pm on Sunday, September 23rd. Over the course of the 24-hours, four people will be on the court, playing tennis, at all times.

The man behind the idea, Hitesh Mitchell-Mehta, who stays at Ordie, near Aboyne, says the group is looking forward to the challenge and praying for good weather.

He said: “When we first came up with the idea for the event it seemed like a lot of fun but as it comes closer we are all realising the size of the challenge we have taken on. All six of us are keen tennis players but I think I can safely say none of our matches have lasted 24 hours before so we are all entering unchartered waters.

“There will be plenty going on around us on the surrounding courts during the daytime but I think it is in the middle of the night when we are the only people still up that we may struggle. That is when the reason we are doing the challenge will play a big role in keeping us going. Befriend A Child is a fantastic, locally-focused charity which does extremely important work with children in the North-east and that is the reason why we are all willing to put our ageing limbs on the line.”

The group would like to hear from any local companies who may be interested in sponsoring their sports gear for the challenge and are also looking for volunteers to come along and do a turn on the court while they take their allocated breaks.

As well as the 24-hour challenge match there will be lots of other activities taking place at Aboyne Tennis Club over the course of weekend. These include an open afternoon with the Club’s youth squad on the Saturday and a fun, parent/child competition and free coaching sessions on the Sunday morning. The weekend will culminate with a family BBQ at 12pm on the Sunday afternoon.

For further information about the challenge contact Hitesh Mitchell-Mehta on 07801432093 or via Hitesh.mitchell-mehta@wpa.org.uk

Donations towards the group’s fundraising effort can be made online at http://www.mycharitypage.com/BAC24HourTennis