Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club welcomes HRH The Earl of Wessex for DofE fundraising event

HRH The Earl of Wessex visited the Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club’s rare and historic court in Newcastle as part of a campaign to generate support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) charity.

Through a combination of DofE engagements, Real Tennis events and fundraising activities, His Royal Highness will enable a new generation of young people to start their DofE journey in the UK and abroad.

Headline sponsor and DofE partner RSM, a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services has kicked off the fundraising for the Tennis Challenge 2018. More donations will be secured through events at each challenge location.

At Jesmond Dene Real Tennis club, The Earl met with Alan Douglas, the club chairman and local dignitaries including councillors and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne before watching and taking part in a Real Tennis coaching session with the coach Scott Blaber, local school children and club members.

The Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club is one of 50 clubs in the world and is situated in a historic building which was built in 1894; and the event saw Newcastle City Council representative Ged Bell present the freehold of the listed-building to the club as part of a drive to support local sport organisations to prosper.

For young people aged 14-24, doing a DofE programme offers a unique opportunity to grow as young adults and gain valuable life experience whilst developing essential employability skills such as confidence, resilience and drive.

After achieving an Award, the journey doesn’t end, and many award holders go on to continue volunteering, honing skills or improving their fitness.

Robbie Johnston, DofE Regional Director in the North of England said:

‘As a DofE Charity Trustee and Gold Award holder, HRH The Earl of Wessex is passionate about supporting young people to reach their potential, whatever their background or circumstance. We are grateful for his dedication to the charity and taking on this fundraising challenge. HRH’s support, and the generosity of so many local partners, will help us extend our reach across the North East and work towards our ambition of all young people having the opportunity to do their DofE. The Earl’s enthusiasm for Real Tennis shows that the impact of a DofE Award really does last a lifetime.’

Steve Railton, RSM’s office managing partner in Newcastle, said:

‘RSM has a strong and long-standing relationship with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We’re extremely proud to support the charity that has changed the lives of so many young individuals; and today’s event was a perfect opportunity to raise the profile of the charity and engage with a broader audience of young people here in Newcastle.’

John Duns, club member said:

‘Jesmond Dene Real Tennis club was delighted to welcome His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to the historic court. We are trying to make more people aware of this exciting and enjoyable game, so this visit has been really important for the Club and its members, especially our growing juniors’ section.’

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