Playing tennis with Greg Rusedski

So Penny Chalmers, she who must be obeyed, of Coolhurst Tennis Club said I had to wear shorts to play tennis with Greg Rusedski when we ‘opened’ the new tennis courts. My office said yes – no problem. I said – cellulite! However – not having a track suit – I bowed to the inevitable.

It was very heartwarming in a way – as the local crowd there were very kind (considering I am an MP and we are scum currently) but as a good guy – they seemed relieved and wanted to reassure me that they didn’t see me like the others. But I have to say – I feel contaminated by what has been going on.

Back to tennis. Penny gave her speech thanking all those who have worked tirelessly to get to the point of today – three new tennis courts to which the local children from schools around will have access. Fantastic – and a host of people have driven this through the many obstacles. Islington Council (Lib Dem) gave some funding towards it as dear old Labour Haringey refused.

It is hard to believe it’s only three and a half months since we did sodding ceremony (where I had to dig up the first sod with a shovel). And equally hard to believe that it is only nine months since Penny first contacted me about planning challenges – which is when I dived in to support their cause.

I want to applaud the scheme – Congratulate Coolhurst and The Trustees of Aloysius Playing Fields – for making this scheme a reality. The concept of partnership between private members clubs and schools for shared use facilities offers tremendous community benefits.

As for today – I managed to get a couple of balls back across the net to Greg – so that was a major achievement. And – of course – by tennis past as ball boy at Queen’s was revealed. Sadly – as I ball boyed for stars such as John Newcombe and Rod Laver – it was a bit of an age give away!