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March 24th 2011

Flybe Mini Masters' finalists serve for Championship

Leading regional airline's support of regional 'grass-roots' tennis reaches exciting Winter Finals

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s Number One Domestic carrier will on  Sunday (27th March) see the cream of Devon and Cornwall’s most talented young tennis players between the ages of six and ten years old serving it out to become Flybe’s Winter 2010/11 Mini Masters’ champions. Finalists will play a series of matches being held both in Devon and in Cornwall, the U8 year and U9 year categories competing at the South Devon Tennis Centre in Ivybridge and the U10 year category at the Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin. 

The second Mini Masters’ Winter series was launched in September last year and the winners of each of the three age categories will take home a Flybe Mini Masters’ trophy, return tickets for their family to be used anywhere on the Flybe network and also receive a Tennis Master Class with Lucie Ahl, Flybe ambassador and former British Number 1 Women’s player.

Lucie Ahl, Flybe Tennis Ambassador, will present the Ivybridge winners with their trophies accompanied by Debbie Hale, LTA Talent Performance Co-ordinator (Devon & Cornwall); while Hilary Webster, Lead Volunteer and Georgina Loosemore, Tennis Development Manager(Devon and Cornwall) will present the award winner in Bodmin.

Some 300 young local up-and-coming tennis stars from across Devon and Cornwall have taken part in this second Flybe Mini Masters’ series that was initiated in October 2009 and sponsored by the airline in conjunction with the counties’ local Lawn Tennis Associations to support the development and growth of young tennis players across the two counties. 
The competition has been open to all young tennis players up to the age of 10 years old and heats have been held across 14 regional tennis centres and clubs with the top eight players from each county moving through to Sunday’s finals.

Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Rutter says: “It is a privilege for Flybe to have the opportunity to play such a key role in the development of these young talented players through hard competition. The success of the Flybe Mini Masters’ series has already seen some of Devon and Cornwall’s finest young tennis stars excel as Champions and so further their dreams of becoming future national and international tennis players of note.”

Ms Ahl comments: “Once again, I'm delighted to be involved with the Flybe Mini  Masters’ series. It gives so many more players the opportunity to not only play and compete here in Devon and Cornwall but also have the added challenge of striving to qualify for the Masters’ Finals. It has helped encourage more kids to play tennis and I definitely have noticed a big improvement in the standard of the players coming through.”

Adds Ms Hale: “It has been great to see so many young mini tennis competitors in action over the winter and really encouraging to see so many new faces on this season’s leaderboard especially as It’s such a busy schedule for even the strongest players.
“The continued work of Flybe with Devon/Cornwall LTA has been key to creating more opportunities at grass roots for all players, beginner or advanced and the standard of the finals will be extremely high.”
The Flybe Mini Masters’ Finals take place on Sunday 27th March with Red and Orange circuit play starting at 0930 the at Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin and the Greens playing from 1000 at the South Devon Tennis Centre in Ivybridge.