Paul Hutchins updates from the first days of clinics in Delhi as the Road to Wimbledon, a grass roots tournament run by the Wimbledon Foundation, is taking place in India over the course of the next two weeks...
Had two good days of planning the upcoming clinics with HSBC Ambassador Tim Henman and Head Coach of Wimbledon Dan Bloxham here in Delhi. Also a little time for a few hours to see Delhi and eat the local food. Let me explain.
The juniors continue to battle it out on court in the Road to Wimbledon event boys and girls singles.
A round by round points structure these next two weeks will determine the top 16 boys and girls who will be invited to the Road to Wimbledon Junior Masters here at the National tennis centre RK Khanna stadium week of 7 April. The last two boys and girls will then qualify to join us in London at our HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals.
Tim, Dan and I met the coaches today who are going to assist us with the clinics at the tennis centre over the next three days. A mix of the players still in the tournament and those who have lost many wanting to register to play with Tim and Dan. Each day different age groups and standards will come in for the clinics as well as us meeting the coaches for a Q&A with Tim and Dan.
Also we are staging a press conference where we are explaining the reasons why we are here to promote Indian junior tennis, spread the Road to Wimbledon competitive opportunities and to invite the juniors to Wimbledon all linked to community tennis clinics.
India has a strong media and a lot of interest especially in Tim and his past background and not often someone of Tim’s stature comes across to promote tennis in India.
We have been eating some amazing Indian cuisine. Vishaal Uppal one of the top coaches here at the tennis centre and someone who has helped me big time in putting all the clinics together has taken us out two nights running to very typical Indian restaurants.
The food was very local, brilliantly cooked and served and a great time was had by all with the friendly restaurant owners and staff just wanting us to enjoy their cooking.
Personally have eaten more Indian food these recent nights than in many years in the UK. Somehow the local dishes advised by Vishaal tasted oh so good and better than dare I say it UK Indian restaurants!
Some of the support team and Dan went sightseeing at some iconic venues. Sparky our expert video specialist is over here to produce a video of all our activities and got some great shots of typical Indian locations. Tim and I went shopping with Vishaal with Tim’s wife Lucy and three daughters getting a nice surprise when Tim returns with some Indian gifts.
Even I bought a Indian style jacket so getting converted!
Lots of activity next few days and Mumbai trip after weekend planned on similar lines to Delhi.
All very interesting. Amazingly interesting country. So many contrasts of society. Traffic actually not too bad for a change. Smog or fog early morning but very pleasant during main part of day.
Gradually we will have some great footage and photos up of our trip.