British lamb and tennis - whats all the racket about?

Friday, 3 July 2020

When you think tennis, you wouldn’t automatically think lamb – but surprisingly, they have more in common than just a fondness for grass.

Faced with a summer without Wimbledon, some of the biggest hitters in tennis are stepping up to the net for a novel tournament which combines the nation’s love of the game with their love for lamb.

All played out on social media, super talented chefs will pair up with a professional tennis player in a game of mixed doubles, to serve up an array of mouth-watering lamb dishes.

Using the hashtag #Makeitlamb served, the public can then cast their votes and it’s ‘game, set and match’ for the overall champion.

The tournament has received the backing of not only professional players, but also local tennis clubs and culinary experts from across the UK.   

Karl Pendlebury from AHDB and match umpire said:

“We have some British tennis greats, Paul Jubb, Joe Salisbury and Tim Henman with amazing chefs to showcase lamb including, Chris Wheeler of stately hotel, Stoke Park, Adam Lestrelle from Roehampton tennis club and online media chef, Hari Ghotra. The only deuce in these matches will be the sauce or gravy which accompanies these mouth-watering lamb dishes.

“Lamb is a great meat, sustainable and easy to cook at home and although very talented chefs are in this competition, households everywhere can replicate the dish or be inspired to try a recipe of their own using British lamb.”

“We are very grateful to the professional players, the clubs and not least the chefs for entering the spirit of this unusual competition,” added Karl. “Come rain or shine these matches will be played out on social media.

“The tournament is all being done for a good cause and the fun of friendly lockdown competition. So, please get involved and vote for your favourite #makeitlamb dish and bring tennis back for 2020.”

A charity Rackets Cubed is set to benefit from the campaign with donations of lamb meat for food boxes runs integrated squash, tennis, education(maths) and nutrition programmes for disadvantaged children.

Michael Hill, founder of Rackets Cubed, said:

“The aim is to help those families who have been most impacted by the COVID shut down and in response we launched the Community Box programmes that provide essential food, personal hygiene, activity and educational supplies to approximately 1,500 young families (6 to 7,000 people) in six cities. They have often lost most if not all their income, with limited state support, through no fault of their own.”