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Hunstanton Tennis Tournament runs smoothly

Hunstanton Tennis Tournament president John Barrell and son James with the new tournament flag.

Hunstanton Tennis Tournament president John Barrell and son James with the new tournament flag.

Steps to prevent anti-social behaviour during this year’s Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament week appear to have worked.

Steps to prevent anti-social behaviour during this year’s Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament week appear to have worked.

The historic tournament, thought to be one of the biggest of its kind in the country,

attracts more than 1,000 competitors and has been blamed in the past for leading to groups of youngsters congregating in surrounding villages.

Chris Holt, who has been organising the event for 39 years, said: “We had lots of meetings with various bodies including the police and local councils to get a plan of action in place and it is working very well.”

Police presence in and around Hunstanton has been stepped up, schools sending competitors were asked to advise them to ensure behaviour was good and accommodation providers were advised to ensure youngsters were accompanied.

Last year, villagers in Brancaster reported crowds of under 16s congregating on the beach there during tennis week, drinking alcohol and smashing bottles in the village play area.

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, on Brancaster beach, stepped up the hours of its security guard to cover the week last year and has repeated the move this year.

Patric Stuart, assistant secretary, said: “Thus far it is going quite well.

“There has been a high police presence in the village. There were a number of meetings to discuss an action plan and it looks as though the effort that has gone into that is paying dividends.

“The police seem to be actively preventing them congregating in large numbers. “

John Barrell, tournament president, was pleased this year’s event had so-far remained unmarred by any reports of anti-social behaviour.

He added: “The association with the tournament has been greatly overplayed. The only real link is the fact the so-called trouble has occurred during tournament week.”

This year’s tournament has proudly displayed a new flag designed and produced by Mr Barrell and his daughter Corinna, an art and design teacher .

The flag takes inspiration from Hunsatnton’s Sunny Hunny nickname and features a sun, whose centre is a tennis ball, on a blue background.

Mr Barrell said: “The flagpole was sitting there covered in seagull muck and we decided it would enhance the general appearance of things to have a designated flag.”

 

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