Essex juniors meet the stars and play on glass court at Canary Wharf


Essex lad Aaron Allpress is put through his paces by former world number one Peter Nicol

Young Essex players enjoyed a glimpse of the big-time when they descended on Canary Wharf to meet some of the world’s best players.

Top Essex coach Lauren Selby took one group of players from Colchester to the capital where they were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour meeting and chatting with several of the tournament’s top stars. Practicing on the glass court and watching the live tournament action in the evening topped off a magnificent day.

A gallery of brilliant  photo ‘selfies’ was testament to the fun and brilliant access afforded to the squad, thanks to Lauren’s unique contacts with the organisers at Eventis Sports. Our favourite snap is Tom Bird’s cheeky shot with India No.1 player Suarev Ghosal. Pure class. Apparently there’s another great celeb pic with West Ham star Andy Carroll who ‘bumped into’ the Essex crowd in a local eaterie. We await its arrival to be added to our photo collection.

Former world number one Peter Nicol also played host to a large group of youngsters, including more Essex kids, who got a chance to play on the glass court used for the Canary Wharf Classic as reward for their efforts in the Mega Series of junior events, sponsored by Mega, Harrow and

The Essex contingent were in great form as they spent the day training and watching the live action in the evening, including matches involving World number one Nick Matthew and Essex’s own international, Daryl Selby.

The Essex team  featured Ellie Hewes, winner of the Girls’ Under 13 category, Mikayla Mann representing the Girls’ Under 11s, Joel Braddock, winner of the Boys’ Under 11s, Harry Kitchens, runner up in the Boy’s Under 13s and  Aaron Allpress,  Boys’ Under 15.


The prize they had all won was impressive – a final play-off game to be played on the famous glass court in the East Wintergarden, a coaching clinic from the legendary Peter Nicol of, a chance to meet and interrogate Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez and free tickets to the evening’s matches.

A brilliant day culminated in a fierce battle between the Suffolk based juniors and the Essex gang to see who could make most noise in support of either Joey Kemp or Daryl Selby in the first – and best – match of the night. Essex won on both competitions!

Thanks to the sponsors for such a superb series of tournaments and wonderful prizes, and thanks to everyone involved at The Canary Wharf Classic for giving them all such a memorable day.

Our thanks to Jo Braddock and Lauren Selby for their help with this article.


India’s No.1 Suarav Ghosal and Tom Bird from Ardleigh have some fun for a memorable selfie


World No,1 Nick Matthew meets his young fans…will he ever be the same?  

Below is a selection of photographs from the Canary Wharf event, including those taken with Essex’s top two international players, Peter Barker and Daryl Selby