Assistance dog charity to provide ‘ball-dogs’ at Champions Tennis at The Royal Albert Hall

AMAZING dogs trained by assistance dog charity Canine Partners will be in the spotlight at the Champions Tennis event held at The Royal Albert Hall this festive season.

The ball-dogs will be playing a key role of retrieving tennis balls for some of the biggest names in tennis, including former world number one John McEnroe and former British number one Tim Henman.

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to get involved with Champions Tennis this year,” says Nicola Martin, CEO of Canine Partners.

“Retrieving dropped items is just one of the hundreds of amazing things our dogs can do for people with disabilities.”

Canine Partners is a national charity that trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and dressing a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.

The charity’s demonstration dog team have been practicing their ball-dog skills with the help of tennis clubs in their local areas.

“There is nothing my demonstration dog Hattie loves more in the world than tennis balls, so it was a surprise and pleasure to be asked to step in at this prestigious event,” says demonstration dog handler Lyn, from Bishops Stortford.

“Luckily Richard Johnson, Head Coach at our local Bishop’s Stortford Lawn Tennis Club in Hertfordshire, was keen to help.”

The demonstration team will also be meeting and greeting with some of the audience and showcasing some of the tasks the amazing dogs can do.

“I never thought when I started volunteering for Canine Partners seven years ago that I would be walking into The Royal Albert Hall with a demonstration dog,” says Lyn.

“It’s a great opportunity to spread the word about Canine Partners and I’m looking forward to the upbeat atmosphere, some great tennis and having fun with Hattie.”

The Champions Tennis event, which is taking place Thursday 6 December to Sunday 9 December, includes Grand Slam Champions, former world number ones and national icons for a dazzling display of high quality tennis and entertainment.

To find out more about Canine Partners, please visit

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