Residents travelled by minibus from the Colten Care homes for the final day’s play at the 97th Bournemouth Open tournament, held at the town’s West Hants Club.
The visit was the first under an innovative partnership between the club and care home provider aimed at helping residents with a love of sport to continue to see it close up.
As well as being given a prime spot to watch the action, the Colten party met some of the competitors and West Hants Chief Executive Peter Elviss. The hospitality included refreshments throughout the day.
Jim Smith, 92, who lives at Amberwood House in Ferndown, said: “It was wonderful. Everyone was so kind and the people at the club looked after us regally. They were so thoughtful and did everything they could for us, including bringing out much appreciated cold water on what was a very sunny day.”
Sharon Surgeon, Companionship Team Leader at the other home involved, Avon Cliff in Bournemouth, said: “We aim to be as responsive as possible to our residents’ wishes. Many of them have a life-long love of tennis and sport in general, and we’re delighted to help them continue their interest.”
In return for access to the club, family-owned Colten Care is contributing to West Hants’ expanding youth academy which helps talented youngsters keen to play at higher levels.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of West Hants staging the first ‘open era’ tennis tournament, widely seen as paving the way towards today’s global professional sport.