A seven-year-old boy who dreams of one day playing at Wimbledon has had his swing improved with the help of a global sports equipment manufacturer.
Leo Harridge’s great nanna ‘Gam’ died days before his birthday, leaving him the only tennis racket she had been able to find with a picture of his favourite player, Novak Djokovic, on the cover.
Proud of his ‘special’ present, Leo brought the adult-sized HEAD racket to his after-school tennis club. But the Risby Primary School pupil became distressed when tennis coach Ashton Pepper asked him, for safety reasons, to use a smaller racket.
“He ran off the court in tears and I just felt mortified,” said coaching assistant Wendy Dye, who decided to try and cheer Leo up by sourcing something else Djokovic related.
An email she sent to HEAD was answered within 30 minutes and, on Wednesday, Leo was presented with the outcome - two mini rackets bearing the popular Serbian’s photograph and a tennis ball signed by the player himself.
Of the positive response from her email, Mrs Dye said: “I was completely bowled over because I just sent it on a wing and a prayer to be honest.”
Of HEAD’s reaction to the email, Leo’s mum, Helen, said: “It’s nice to know that big companies care because you don’t usually hear of it and he (Leo) is chuffed to bits.”
Djokovic is currently ranked World No. 2 and was formerly ranked World No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. But, according to Leo, ‘he’s the best player in the world’.