June 2019

Next meeting: Thursday 11th July 2019 at 2.00 pm. The speaker will be Mrs Carole Wheatley will be speaking on the topic ‘Biberach Revisited-Guernsey People sent to Germany in WW2’. There will be a competition: please bring any WW2 memorabilia.

June meeting report:
Wendy Smith is line judge at the Wimbledon Championships, and she told us about life on court during the intense two week tennis tournament. She considers Wimbledon to be the best tennis tournament in the world; the tennis is of the highest quality; the grounds are superb and there is friendly, happy atmosphere. She has never seen visitors behave badly or seen anyone drunk.
The attention to detail is impressive: for example, the ball boys and girls (250 of them) are trained not only to be quick and efficient but also to be polite and respectful (often in the face of the rude behaviour of some contestants). Each morning , the courts are mown, and the flowers deadheaded before the visitors arrive. A hawk (called Rufus) disperses pigeons and other birds – he is very friendly towards humans.
It usually takes two years to qualify as a line judge for Wimbledon (although there is now a fast track scheme as well). Candidates have to be experienced and take part in a number of tournaments in a year, including a grass court competition prior to Wimbledon itself. An application form has to be completed and there are no guarantees that a place will be granted. The umpires are in teams of nine for the inside courts; seven for the outside courts. Each team has team leader for three days and then the teams are switched around. Each line judge is on for an hour then off for an hour because it is difficult to sustain concentration for any longer. Judges are not allowed to talk to the players and must remain very calm. During a match the umpire grades each judge; on accuracy, demeanour and presentation and give a top mark of 7. These marks are collated and determine who will be officiating in the finals; with the top twenty umpiring the men’s finals.
There are many rules and regulations. There is a handbook on how to wear the uniforms that are sponsored by Ralph Lauren- they specify the knot that the men must use to tie their tie and the length of cuff that should be visible below the blazer sleeve.
Unfortunately, there is a darker side to the game – judges must be careful who they speak to around the site- an innocent conversation may turn out to be with someone with connections with match fixers or betting agencies. There are special observers in the audiences watching to see who is constantly on their phone, or not actually watching the match closely because they may be communicating with betting agencies. There can be as much as a two minute delay between the action and the television transmission; ample time to text a betting shop. Drugs are beginning to be a problem, and all players are tested immediately after a match.
Wendy has met some of the stars of the game and Roger Federer is one of her favourites; a great player who always has time for the fans and is respectful towards the staff.

Outings:
October 23rd Calendar Girls at the Regent Theatre is now sold out but there will be a waiting list.
Please contact Ruth Ward about this trip.

Walking Netball:
This is proving to be a lot of fun so do come along on Friday mornings at 10.00 a.m. at Brackenbury Sports Centre.
New members are always welcome; meetings are on the second Thursday of the month at the Village Hall beginning at 2pm.
Contact our secretary: Chris Welling 01473 736255

K.Cade