SEVERAL Oswestry School pupils joined other Shropshire youngsters on the ball crew crewing for a tennis event.

Ian Gillespie of Highfive Tennis invited 10 Oswestry School students to take up the opportunity at the W60 world tour $60K ladies tennis event.

The event took place at Shrewsbury Tennis Club and was the biggest women’s tennis tournament planned for this year in the UK.

Spectators were treated to high quality tennis from some of the world’s leading players.

Ian Gillespie, although never having had the chance to be a ball crew member himself, led and trained the team of youngsters who gained many valuable new skills from the experience.

Oswestry pupils were on court as part of the ball crew team for the entire week of the tournament.

Pupils spent 40 minutes on court followed by a 30-minute rest on a rota system.

Julie Piper, tournament director for the event said: “I want to thank the headmaster, Julian Noad, for allowing the students who were part of the ball crew team the time off school to work at the event.

“They all did a fantastic job and conducted themselves both on and off the court in a professional manner and were a credit to the school.

“Many of the players playing at Shrewsbury have played in much bigger/higher prize money level events and all commented on how good the ball crew were.

“While the students appeared to have an enjoyable week, they hopefully learnt a lot of ‘life learning skills’ such as teamwork, concentration and patience which will hopefully go towards their personal development.

“It was noticeable how the students grew in confidence as the week progressed.

“There are numerous pressures on educational establishments in allowing students out of school and it is perhaps not as easy as it used to be, but I just want to thank the school for their support of the event, and I hope we can all work together again at future events.”

Ex-president of the Lawn Tennis Association, Cathie Sabin, commented that Oswestry School ball crew were absolutely brilliant.