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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Div 6 : Canford3 3 Oratory3 0

(3) Simon Booker v Adam Barrett 4-6, 1-6
(1) Eric Walker v David Dickson 6-4, 3-6, 3-6
(2) Simon Street v Gary Boome 0-6, 2-6

Oratory were given a tough 1st outing in this league by Canford. The best performance was by Eric Walker playing well at 1 but narrowly losing a topsy turvy game in 3 sets, after fighting back from 4-2 down to take the first set. Simon Street came up against a man in top form who dominated from the outset with a sublime display of railroading into the nick. Simon Booker played well in the 1st set , but after failing to level at 5 all , went down in straight sets.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

An Easy Fix for Tennis Elbow?

In a medical advance inspired by recessionary thinking, researchers from the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City announced last month that they’ve developed an effective and supremely cheap treatment for chronic tennis elbow.

Huddling a while back to brainstorm about inexpensive methods for combating the injury, the scientists glanced around their offices and noticed a homely, low-tech rubber bar, about 8 inches long, which, at the time, was being used for general physical therapy programs. The researchers wondered whether the ribbed, pliable bars, available for less than $20, might be re-purposed to treat tennis elbow. The answer, it soon become clear, was a resounding yes.

To arrive at that conclusion, the researchers recruited 21 people with chronic, debilitating elbow pain. Ten of them were assigned to standard physical therapy treatment for tennis elbow; this was the control group. The other 11 also received physical therapy, but in addition were taught a choreographed exercise using the rubber bar that they practiced at home. After less than two months of treatment, the researchers terminated the experiment. The early results had been too unfair. The control group had showed little or no improvement. But the rubber-bar-using group effectively had been cured. Those patients reported an 81 percent improvement in their elbow pain and a 72 percent improvement in strength.

“We couldn’t believe” how fast and well the therapy worked, says Timothy Tyler, PT, ATC, a clinical research associate at the Nicholas Institute and one of the authors of the study. “We were seeing improvements in five weeks, even three. It was crazy.”

Tennis elbow, characterized by pain, weakness and inflammation or degeneration of the wrist-extensor tendon that connects to the elbow, is one of those intractable overuse injures that, until recently, yielded very reluctantly to treatment. By most estimates, about half of all competitive tennis players will be afflicted, a statistic that must resonate, painfully, with the pros gathering for next week’s US Open. Tennis isn’t the only predisposing activity, either. Golfers get tennis elbow, as do plumbers, painters, gardeners and accountants. (Heavy briefcases can strain the tendon.)

Treatments range from acupuncture to corticosteroids to surgery, usually with limited — if any — long-term success. But in the past two or three years, doctors and researchers have begun focusing on a particular kind of exercise that has shown promise against other achy tendons, especially the Achilles. The program involves eccentric exercises, which aren’t oddball moves but those in which the muscle lengthens as it tenses. Think of a biceps curl. When you raise the dumbbell, your bicep shortens and tightens. That’s a concentric contraction. When you lower the weight, the muscle lengthens, straining against the force of the weight. That’s eccentric. “There’s a growing body of research showing that eccentric exercises are quite effective in treating Achilles tendonosis” and other tendon problems, Tyler says.

One of those studies was a well-designed 2007 experiment centered on tennis elbow. Conducted in Belgium, it found that eccentric exercises provided considerable relief. But the exercises had to be performed on expensive machines under medical supervision during repeated office visits. “We looked at those results and thought, there has to be an easier, more cost-effective way,” Tyler says.

Which is how they arrived at the rubber bar technique. He and his colleagues realized that a single, unhurried exercise using a tensile bar that looks like an oversized licorice stick could create an eccentric contraction all along the forearm. In the exercise, a person holds the bar upright at his or her side using the hand connected to the sore elbow, then grasps it near the top with the good hand. The top hand twists as the bar is brought around in front of the body and positioned perpendicular to the ground; the sore hand then takes over, slowly untwisting the bar by flexing the wrist. “Afterward, you should be sore,” Tyler says. “That’s how we know it’s effective.”

Timothy Tyler Dr. Timothy Tyler’s method for doing the exercise with the rubber bar. Eccentric contractions require the muscle to work against a force, in this case the coiled bar. “You can load a tendon so much more eccentrically” than with concentric exercises, Tyler says. “So we think the process may be remodeling the tendon.” Ultrasound studies by other researchers, including the group in Belgium, have shown that damaged tendons typically become less thick, indicating they are less damaged, after a course of strenuous eccentric exercise.

Tyler reported his findings at the July annual meeting of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and has been deluged ever since with requests from doctors, physical therapists and patients for more information about how to perform the exercise and where to buy the bar. (Called the Thera-Band Flexbar, it’s available on; the manufacturer donated products for the study, but didn’t otherwise fund it; Tyler is not affiliated with the company).

“It’s not a difficult exercise but it is unique, so I would advise people to be taught by a physical therapist, if possible,” Tyler says. If not, proceed on your own — after, of course, an examination by a doctor; elbow pain can have many causes, not just tennis elbow. “In my opinion, you’re not going to hurt yourself,” Tyler continues, although you should be prepared for a commitment. His patients did three sets of fifteen repetitions every day. Beginners should start with three sets of five repetitions, adding more as the repetitions get easier, Tyler says.

After his study was halted, the members of the control group, still ailing, were offered rubber bars and training. Most of the people in both groups continue to use the bars whenever their elbows twinge, Tyler has heard. Meanwhile, they’ve returned to tennis (or, golf or weight training, which several blamed for their tennis elbow). “I feel strongly that this is making people better,” Tyler says.
Source: New York Times Online, August 25th 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Club Newsletter - June 2009

Dear All,


Sunday 5th July – In The Hat Doubles, 10am - 1pm


We are holding a “In the hat doubles” this Sunday from 10am onwards.  It is hoped to get up to six people to play where we will arrange a format, however it will be dependant on numbers.  If you would like to play in this tournament please get in touch as soon as possible.


National League 2009/2010


Having only completed the 08/09 season in May, it’s time to look for expressions of interest for the next season which is set to start in September.


We are hoping to have teams in the following divisions, so if you are interested please speak directly to Ross.


Div 4 (15-20)

Div 6 (25-30)

Div 7 (30-35)

Div 8 (35-40)


Fixture Card


We are putting together the final touches to this year’s fixture card.  We are going to be including names, telephone numbers and email addresses this year.  If you would not like to have any of this information printed, could you let Ross or Mark know as soon as possible.


Possible billeting


As you may be aware, there are a group of 5 Real Tennis Professionals who are doing a sponsored bike ride from Jesmond Dene to Seacourt in aid of various charities.  The RealRiders will be stopping off at The Oratory on Thursday 9th July and we are looking to see if any club members would be willing to offer a billet for the evening.  If you think you may be able to help, please email Mark on


Sports Centre Team


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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Club v School, 12th March 2008

The Boy’s secured a 3-0 victory over the Club in an enthralling match on Thursday evening.

The ever improving Christian Whittaker beat Simon Booker 8/5 in a great match that had a lot of forcing on show!!

Peter Mawson was edged out 8/7 in a cliff hanger by Upper 6th student Ettiene Littlefair, before Whittaker and DeSteffano beat Fergus Brownlee and Al Jenkins 8/5 in a rolling handicap match.

Many thanks to the members who took part, the boys love the competitive tennis, and am sure they were glad of the break from revision!

Online Bookings

As you may have seen we now have a new computer in the reception which can only be used for Online Bookings. We encourage you to use this system to book your courts, however, you can still book through the usual channels of phone, email or in person.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oratory 3 & 4 National League Div 7 Results

25/01/2009  MCC Oratory 3

Harsha Boralessa  lost to  Tom Phipps  2/6 6/5 4/6

Andrew Fletcher  beat  Colin Butler  6/3 6/5

Roger Cotton  beat  Peter Harding  6/5 6/5


25/01/2009  Petworth House 4 Oratory 4   

Richard White  lost to  Simon Booker  3/6 2/6

Stewart Newton  w/o

Michael Marcar  beat  Simon Street  5/6 6/3 6/2


06/02/2009  Oratory 3 Petworth House 4

Tom Phipps  beat  Stewart Newton  6/3 6/2

Colin Butler  lost to  Fergus Jenkins  3/6 4/6

Peter Harding  lost to  Michael Marcar  2/6 6/4 5/6


06/03/2009  Oratory 4 Holyport 4

Simon Booker  beat  Scott Levy  6/2 6/3

Gordon Robertson  beat  Mark Piper  6/1 6/1

Simon Street  beat  Jill Newby  6/2 6/3


07/03/2009  Oratory 3 MCC   

Colin Butler  lost to  Andrew Fletcher  3/6 4/6

Juliette Lambert  lost to  Harsha Boralessa  5/6 5/6

Peter Harding  beat  Roger Cotton  6/5 5/6 6/4







Oratory 1 National League Div 5 Results - James Blore MVP

27/02/2009 Oxford 1 Oratory 2

Horatio Cary lost to James Bloore 6/0 4/6 3/6

Charles Ashbourne beat Adrian Fawcus 6/2 6/2

Sam Halliday lost to Christopher Herbert 6/5 3/6 3/6

27/03/2009 Oratory 2 CURTC 6 2/1

James Bloore beat Andrew Petrie 6/4 6/4

Adrian Fawcus beat Neil Stutchbury 6/1 4/6 6/2

Christopher Herbert lost to Scott Newman 4/6 6/4 4/6

James Bloore is League MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oratory 2 Win at Royal Tennis Court 3 Nil ..

  1. David Blizzard lost to Christopher Herbert (25) 6/2 5/6 1/6
  2. Robert Frost lost to James Bloore (21) 1/6 2/6
  3. Paul Kettle lost to Adrian Fawcus (25) 4/6 2/6

A great win well done guys ! To follow Oratory 2 Results bookmark this page. National League Div 5

Who says Real Tennis is quirky ?!

Only in the gentlemans WC of a Real Tennis club ( Petworth to be
exact ) would a tennis racket be used as a toilet flush.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a month for the Brownlee's !

All four of the tennis playing Brownlee’s picked up silverware in the opening two tournaments of 2009.

The Fathers and Sons, playing for the Gordon Bennett Trophy, was a fantastic two days of tennis, which saw a total of 13 pairs taking part. Fergus and Daniel Brownlee disposed of the Marmoy’s in the semi-final by 6 games to 2, while the other finalists were the deminuent pair of Simon and Ben Nickson, who defeated the Fox’s by the same score line. The final was a tight match which went down to the final game, although the Nickson’s had been winning all the way through, they couldn’t win the vital last game which gave the honours to the Brownlee’s.

Pictured : Daniel and Fergus Brownlee Gordon Bennett Trophy Winners 2009-01-14

The following weekend saw the Club Handicap Doubles take place from Friday to Sunday. Some great matches and close groups saw a semi-final line up of Glyn and Thornton versus Jamie and Sarah Brownlee. It was as close as close can be with the Brownlee’s edging the final point at 5/5, 40 all, a great first semi, could the second live up to it? Club Captain Colin Butler and partner “Penthouse” Peter Harding found themselves 5/2 down in no time against the pairing of Fergus Brownlee and Ian Whittaker, who have an amazing record together. The fighting spirit of Butler/Harding saw them peg it back to 5/5, but their efforts were in vain as the missed out 6/5. After two epic semis, the final was always going to be an anti-climax, but some great play by Jamie and Sarah, helped by the handicap, seen them edge through 6/4. It was a great way to end the tournament, which is defiantly the best tennis and excitement I have seen in a club tournament in my time at the club.

Pictured : Jamie Brownlee and mum Sarah, Club Handicap Doubles Winners 2009, along with Club Captain Colin Butler.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oratory featured on BBC Breakfast News

The BBC visited Oratory to talk to World #1 Charlotte Cornwallis. Christian Whittaker is also interviewed as part of the 4 minute segment on Real Tennis.