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Tennis tournament serves up support for Rainbows

Nottingham Tennis

Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People launched its official charity partnership with the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

And British players Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara visited the hospice in Loughborough to serve up a sample of ‘Centre Court’ excitement on-site.

The two players, who have been involved in the Loughborough Trophy British Tennis played tennis with youngsters from the hospice.

The Nature Valley Open takes place from 9 – 17 June at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, with the women’s event, a WTA international tournament, running alongside the men’s ATP Challenger.

WTA Tournament Director, Rebecca James, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rainbows on-board as our charity partner again this year.

“The work Rainbows does with children and young people is so important and we are thrilled they can be a part of the Nature Valley Open.”

Dee Sissons, CEO at Rainbows, said: “It was great having Jonny and Luke here to help create a Centre Court experience for our children and young people here at Rainbows. As you can see by the smiles on their faces, they’ve had an amazing time.

“We’re so grateful to once again be the official charity partner of the tournament. Not only does it help raise awareness of the work we do as the only hospice for children and young people in the whole of the East Midlands, but it also helps us raise the vital funds we need to help those families who need our help the most.”​

Rainbows will once again have its own charity day, ‘Donation Day’, on Monday 11 June, as part of the Nature Valley Open. Donations start from £3 and all proceeds go to the charity, with a cheque presentation on Centre Court later in the week.

Rainbows will also have a stand at the event throughout the week, where players and spectators will be able contribute to the special handprint wall.

The wall has become a regular feature at the Nottingham Tennis Centre and famous hands to leave their mark have included Alison Riske and Caroline Wozniacki.

Ace the Bear, the 8ft official mascot of Rainbows, will make a return once again and is always popular with all ages at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

British No.1 Johanna Konta, defending champion Donna Vekic and Indian Wells winner Naomi Osaka have all confirmed they will play in Nottingham next month.

In the men's event, two-time champion and last year's winner Dudi Sela will return to defend his title and he will be joined by Great Britain's Davis Cup players Cam Norrie and Liam Broady.

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Our picture shows Olivia Butler (three), with mum Stacey, dad Gary, brother Harry (four) and sister Evie (five), with players Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara.