Queenswood tennis players to represent GB at World Schools Championships in Brazil

PUBLISHED: 09:47 02 March 2017

Arabella Moen, 14, Charlotte Tathan, 14, Lexi Peet, 14 and Georgie Walker, 18 are going to Brazil to compete
in a tennis tournament for Queenswood School.

Arabella Moen, 14, Charlotte Tathan, 14, Lexi Peet, 14 and Georgie Walker, 18 are going to Brazil to compete in a tennis tournament for Queenswood School.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Queenswood Girls School’s head of tennis Catherine Sluter says it is a ‘great honour’ for the school to once again represent England at the World Schools Championships in Brazil later this month.

The quintet of Arabella Moen, Charlotte Tatham, Georgie Walker, Lexi Peet and Lili Wiedenmann head to Recife for the 14-team tournament which begins on March 12.

Having defeated Talbot Heath in the Aberdare Cup final in July to reach the South American spectacle, Sluter says she it would be ‘incredible’ should this year’s team match the feat of the school’s 2013 team who claimed silver medals at the same event in Australia but feels enjoying the experience is their top priority.

Sluter told the WHT: “It means absolutely everything [to qualify].

“We’ve got a long proud tradition of doing incredibly well in tennis so to go to Brazil and represent England and Queenswood is a great honour and we’re really proud of the girls.

“I didn’t go to Australia in 2013 so it’s a completely new team but it’s going to be a great experience for them competing at that level.

“I would love to think we could finish runners-up, that would be incredible, but we’re going out there with a young team just to gain experience and to enjoy the experience competing overseas at that level.

“Whatever we get is a bonus so we’re aiming high but there’s no pressure.”

The girls have been drawn in Pool C with Chile, France and Italy and Sluter expects a tough, and relatively unknown, test on the clay in the north-eastern region of the Samba state.

She continued: “It’s really hard because it’s been four years since we were last there.

“I think France will be strong and I think Italy and Chile are more unknown so it’s a case of just getting out there and seeing where we’re at but we’re just going to concentrate on our games and how we play.

“It’s more humidity that we’re going to be worried about.

“It’s outdoor and it’s got a roof and it’s clay. The girls love playing on clay, they’re used to playing on clay which is a massive advantage for us but the heat will also be a challenge.”

The team, which consists of two players – Tatham and Wiedenmann – who did not take part in the Aberdare Cup final, can’t wait to get going.

Eldest team member Walker, 18, said: “I don’t think there’s pressure. I think we’ll try as hard as we can to do as well as we can and take each game as it comes but just to be there is such a good experience for us.

“When you play players from different countries then they have different game styles so it’s interesting and a great experience.

“We won the Aberdare Cup on clay last year and we play quite a lot on it so we’re quite used to it so hopefully we can use that to our advantage.

“The whole experience of training for it and playing out there and representing England will be amazing. The team atmosphere will be great.”

The team are hoping to sparkle on court but also on the dancefloor as they have to serve up a Samba rhythm along with England boys representatives Reed’s School, on one of the event’s evenings.

Walker said: “We rehearsed the dance with Reed’s the other day. It was funny.

“I just hope we can nail the routine on the night.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times