I woke up this morning expecting great photography weather, but found grey skies and rain. My plans to go out and get some use out of the camera were not thwarted though. The Aston park Tennis Club were officially opening the upgraded facilities, made possible by the award from Sport England Inspired Facilities of an Olympics Legacy grant, as well as grants from Aston Clinton Parish Council and Aylesbury Vale Community Chest Fund. The upgraded facilities also include floodlighting to all three courts as well as the provision of a new netball court which is proving very popular with up to 12 ‘Back to Netballers’ taking advantage of Netball England coach Geri every Monday evening from 6-7pm.
Why you ask would I want to take photo’s of a some local tennis courts, a sense of civic duty maybe? No the new facilities were officially be opened by Mark Webber the Red Bull Formula 1 racing driver.
I got down to the courts just in time for the official start at 11am, I made my way over to the club house with my camera gear, where I noticed that most people were out side the courts behind the fence. I realised that most likely my camera and telephoto lens had acted like a sort of “access all areas” pass I had walked straight past the officials ticking names of lists and got directly to where the action was. Luckily I noticed some good friends who are tennis club members and made out I was with them, and no one ever questioned my presence in the inner circle.
The main event (Mark Webber’s presence) was not due until 11:30, the clouds looked ominous and it was just starting to rain. Some warm up acts had been arranged to fill the time, first we had a dance by five of the younger members of the tennis club which went down well, then there were a couple of speeches, by officials from the club and village. First by Barbara Wilkinson the chair of the Tennis club, who spoke about the importance of volunteers, then by the chairman of the parish council Richard Maskell.
By the time Mark Webber turned up it really was raining which was a real shame given the great weather we have had this week, with the hottest day of the year on Wednesday at 21 degrees centigrade. The compère passed the microphone to Mark Webber who spoke about how when he was young there was a tennis club similar to the Aston Park one that was kept running only thanks to the local community, following that a young club member pedalled his plastic tractor and trailer around the net to present to him life long membership of the club and a fancy bottle of wine, or grog as Mark Webber described it. With the rain still chucking it down he joined three club members on the court for a knock about.
They had planed for Mark Webber to have a knock about with the kids but instead, due to the rain, he signed some autographs, and spoke to the kids under a gazebo then made a swift exit.
You can see a slideshow of my pictures here http://www.flickr.com/photos/treecreeper/sets/72157633349501765/show/