Gavin Manders proud to host fitting tribute to Craig Bean
Gavin Manders hailed the special feeling of once again being involved in staging the Craig Bean Memorial Championships.
Manders Tennis Management hosted the event at the Fairmont Southampton last week in memory of Bean, who was the top junior player on the island when he died at the age of 18 in a road crash in 2000.
While Manders already appreciated the significance of being given the opportunity to again honour someone particularly important to him, he was blown away with just how memorable the event proved to be.
“It was another really successful event and for such a great cause,” he said. “The energy throughout the tournament was brilliant and it was just a great event to be a part of.
“It just felt special to be able to hold the tournament again. Especially at a time where a lot of people are struggling. Craig always had such a contagious personality and energy; everyone wanted to be around him.
“This tournament seemed to just have that same energy and it just felt special. As always I’m thankful to the Bean family for their support. The beautiful thing is we were able to put on a great event in his memory, and his family and friends were able to come down and be part of it.”
On the court, Tariq Simons continued his recent dominance of the domestic scene by cementing his No 1 status with victory in the final of the A Division category against Denzel Hollis, while Jevon Roberts clinched the title in the B Division after overcoming Tre Manders.
There was also notable title delight for the likes of Sean Anthony in the Elite B Division, Dexter Snaith in the Green One Division and nine-year-old Hassan Khan in the Green Two Division.
Manders himself also enjoyed the taste of success, winning the mixed doubles alongside Jacqui Lambert after overcoming Simons and Shelby Madeiros. Lambert was also part of a winning duo in the Elite B doubles, where she and Darren Woods prevailed against Jon Brunson and Mike Toyer.
As well as the importance of holding the tournament in Bean’s memory, Manders also highlighted the significance of successfully hosting another event amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The turnout for the tournament was just incredible,” he added. “In the Green Two Division we had 37 players, which is just spectacular. The youngest player was 9 and the oldest 64.
“This was our seventeenth tournament throughout the pandemic and we’ve prided ourselves on being able to put on these events and promote positivity through sport under such trying circumstances.
“We’ve always remained determined to follow every government guideline and the fact we’ve not had one outbreak or spread as a result of putting on an event speaks volumes to level of work the team has done to create a safe environment.
“To be able to keep putting on events like we have I feel is an incredible feat and an amazing achievement.
“Obviously things are constantly changing and it is becoming tricky again to host events, but we will go away and regroup and see what we might be able to create going forward.”