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Just Ace: Sports Reporter On Track To Net £100,000 For Good Causes Thanks To Marathon Tennis Match

A SPORTS reporter is on track to net £100,000 for good-causes – thanks to his most daunting charity challenge yet.

On Saturday (July 1) Chris Phillips will be playing tennis non-stop for 11 hours and five minutes to raise funds for SECE Mind.

That’s the same length as the famous match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon back in 2010.

Chris, 41, from Southend, Essex, said: “I struggle with mental health issues myself so I’m always keen to raise funds for Mind and to also raise awareness. When you’re going through tough times you can often feel like it’s just you that is feeling that way so it’s important people realise that isn’t the case and speak out. I love tennis so this seemed like a good idea but I might change my mind 11 hours in. I’m not sure I will be moving much by then!”

Commenting on the challenge Nicolas Mahut said: “I hope you’re ready and trained well. It’s been a long time but congratulations to you. It’s very good to do for a nice reason and good luck. I hope you’re going to raise a lot of money.”

Reflecting on that infamous match he continued: “It’s a long time ago now but John and I are very proud to be part of this history of the game. Now they’ve changed the rules and we know we will keep the record forever. It’s something nice to have the name written at Wimbledon.”

The Southend Echo reporter has already received plenty of backing with Sue Barker, Judy Murray, Ryan Peniston, Kriss Akabusi and Peter Shilton all sending messages of support.

Judy Murray said: “I just want to say a huge good luck to Chris. I hope everyone gets behind him, supports him and sponsors him to raise funds for an incredibly-worthy cause. What a great idea.”

Her good-wishes were echoed by Sue Barker who added: “I want to wish Chris so much luck for an amazing charity fundraiser he’s taking part in. Good luck Chris.”

Chris will take to the court, at Southend Lawn Tennis Club, two days before Wimbledon gets underway and will start play at 10am before finishing shortly after 9pm. The keen tennis player will play different opponents in 22 half-hour slots. Among those to already have confirmed their attendance are current Southend United boss Kevin Maher and ex-Shrimpers manager Steve Tilson.

TV presenter Jeff Brazier and Apprentice star Tom Skinner have also confirmed they will try to make it down. Should Chris reach his target he will also have raised £100,000 for charity.

Chris raised £23,000 for South East and Central Essex Mind last year when organising a football match at Southend United in memory of former Shrimpers skipper Chris Barker.

He also co-founded Run Free Official, an inspirational mental health support group back in 2020 and is a trustee for SECE Mind.



Posted in Charity & CSR, News, Sport