Balancing Act: Darren Spurling

February 1, 2016

Darren Spurling, managing director of Terry de Havilland, has been involved with the luxury accessories brand since 2010. This year, the company is looking to develop its international business and will launch a new line of bags as well as a new diffusion collection. In his spare time, Darren Spurling plays real tennis, the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis is derived

I began playing real tennis at the end of 2010.

I played a lot of [lawn] tennis and kept driving past the real tennis court in Jesmond, so I called in and had an intro session. I joined the club straight afterwards and like to play real tennis a few times a week; during lunchtime and at weekends.

The rules and scoring of real tennis are similar to lawn tennis, but you are in an enclosed space that is bigger than a tennis court; almost like a courtyard with sloping roofs.

The balls are less bouncy than tennis balls and are cork filled.

There is no equipment advantage in real tennis. The rackets are always made of wood and the same size for everyone.

The great thing about real tennis is that it is easy to serve, whereas serving in lawn tennis can be a great handicap for some people. It means the games are levelled out.

It is always good to use exercise to clear your mind.

There are a few hundred members of Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club. Some members travel quite a distance to play as there are no other courts in the North East.

If you like racquet sports then real tennis is great fun.

Terry de Havilland is located at 19 Clayton Road, Jesmond

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