A hot day for Dartmouth Academy students at Wimbledon


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On July 1st, eight Sixth Formers were offered the extraordinary opportunity to attend Court 1, on day three of Wimbledon. For a minimal fee, the students were able to stay in a Travelodge for two nights and attend a whole day at Court 1. At three o'clock, the students left the school on a shiny new minibus (skilfully driven by our very own Mr Payne) and made the long journey to Reading, where they spanned six rooms in a Travelodge. Though the wake-up call was early in the morning, all the students were ready and raring to go as a feeling of excitement and anticipation filled the minibus. Upon arrival at Wimbldon, the heat was certainly there but bearable as we queued up to hand in our tickets and have our bags checked. Everyone was astounded by the sheer size of the crowd, something no one from lil' ol' Dartmouth was expecting. After a quick shop for some Wimbledon merchandise, we found our shaded seats in Court 1. The match began with Milos Raonic of Canada and a rather temperamental Tommy Haas of Germany. Haas met his defeat against Raonic with a final score of 6-0, 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, a close and riveting match. The second match of the day was the ladies singles in which we witnessed Heather Watson (taking one for good old Great Britain) take on and beat Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. The final score ending on 6-4, 6-2. At this stage in the day it had become to hot to function as humans, the radio reported the hottest day in London since the medieval period, or something along those lines! As it hit 37 degrees celsius in the shade, layers of clothing were shed and the tennis continued with Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic. After a quick argument from the girls as to which player was cutest, the game ensued and everyone had their eyes on the ball. The final score stood at 6-3, 6-4, 7-5, with Wawrinka just gaining the edge. As the game marked the end of the day for us, we headed out of the stadium, filled with gratification, satisfaction and a lot of sweat. The bus journey back to our hotel gave us the opportunity to contemplate just how surreal the day had been and how much we all enjoyed such an amazing experience. For anyone on the fence about attending next year, go! Such an opportunity is not to be overlooked and I know that many of the people who had gone into Wimbledon with no interest in tennis, came out with a new found inspiration to become active. For this, I would like to take the chance to thank Mr Payne and Miss Taylor for taking us to Wimbledon, and for not leaving us there after we complained so much about the heat. It really was an amazing experience and made me so thankful for the rain that so often graces Devon. By Emily Hamill, Year 13


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