Tennis on Tour!

29 March 2024

Mr Goodall (Head of Racquet Sports)

After ten months of anticipation and preparation, the moment finally arrived for our Portuguese Tennis Camp. Accompanied by twenty-two eager students, Miss Butler, and Miss Gibbons, we embarked on our journey.

Despite the early flight, the girls displayed impeccable behaviour, setting a promising tone for the days ahead. Upon arrival, the girls dove straight into an intense tennis session on day one. Despite its challenges, they relished the opportunity to play under the warm sunshine, a rare treat not often experienced at Downe House!


Over the course of the camp, the girls participated in a total of eight tennis sessions and had ample access to padel courts. By the trip’s conclusion, it was evident that each student had significantly improved their tennis skills. They absorbed valuable insights from the coaches and benefited greatly from the sheer amount of playing time – a luxury many had not previously enjoyed.

I eagerly anticipate witnessing the girls’ continued growth back at Downe House, especially with the busy summer term fixtures approaching.

Day 1

After a sudden and early wake up we began our tennis tour to Portugal. We made it through the airport keeping hold of all bags and passports – our proudest moment so far… We finally reached our incredible hotel and found ourselves immediately on the court! We spent our first session focussing on technique and footwork as well as playing some fun games at the end! We are all looking forward to tomorrow and playing some friendly matches against other schools!

– Alice, Mia and Heidi (Lower Fifth)

Day 2

We had another great day starting with a delicious breakfast! We then moved on to our first tennis session where we looked at forehands. This was helpful in preparation for our tournament later that day. We managed to fit in a swim which was refreshing and a cold shock!! The day ended with a fun tournament against the other schools and we even had some time to play some padel!! Bring on tomorrow!!!!

– Eimear, Willow and Sakia (Lower Fifth)

Day 3


Today we ran downstairs to a delicious breakfast which fuelled us for the day!

Off to tennis – we played some paddle as a warm up and then moved on to tennis where we focused on top spin and serves.

Played a new game called dingles which was lots of fun.

Swimming in the sea was loads of fun although it was quite cold!

Played another game like king of the court focussing on movement and spacing.

Ice creams refreshed us all and were a nice break!

Never too much tennis!

– Mia, Amelie and Elisa (Upper Fourth)

Day 4

The morning started off with a delicious breakfast. We then moved on to play some doubles and some other games with Mr Goodall. We had some free time after that, so some of us enjoyed the nice weather while it lasted by going to the pool. Although the weather wasn’t great we had the chance to mix with Kings School Canterbury in our Tennis session, which involved cardio tennis and of course a dance off. The evening finished with a refreshing ice cream at the Tennis club!

– Tess and Olivia (Upper Fourth)

Day 5

We started off with a very productive morning, getting to the courts early in hopes to avoid the rain. We got slightly wet but enjoyed looking more at technique. We then managed to fit in a second session before our departure which involved gameplay with some exciting points won. This concluded our tennis tour with many of our group winning prizes from the coaches. We then started the journey back home praying that all of our bags were waiting patiently for us at Bristol – thankfully they were! We have enjoyed this tennis tour so much and it’s safe to say that we are sad it’s over!

– Eimear (Lower Fifth)

Lorna, Lower Fifth (Year 10)

From the very start, every single one of us had an amazing time. The tour was incredible, whether it was the elite level tennis coaching, delicious food, or the luxurious hotel.

My personal highlight would have to be when we went down to the beach. We played games, chilled in the water and laughed with our friends. This was a lovely and important break in between our intense but rewarding tennis sessions with the 5-star coaches.


This tour would not have been possible without the hard work of Mr Goodall, Miss Butler and Miss Gibbons, who made the trip unforgettable. They played cards, padel and tennis with us, joined in with our jokes and made sure that we were all safe and healthy.

All of us have learned so much and our tennis has improved dramatically because of it. It has been an amazing experience, and we could not be more grateful to everyone involved (including our parents who had to collect us at 1am!)

Click here to discover more about Sport at Downe House.


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