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There are two types of tennis Umpires within the sport, both Line Umpires and Chair Umpires. You need to work your way up to becoming a Chair Umpire by starting as a Line Umpire and progressing from there. Please note that due to the current number of Trainee Umpires, and the number of umpiring opportunities available, there will not be any Basic Line Umpire courses in 2015.
Hopefully there will be some recruitment during 2016 and further information will be available in due course. Once you have gained some experience as a line umpire, Licensed Umpires are eligible to be invited onto a Chair Umpire Accreditation Course.
This day course is run 2-4 times a year, and will build on your knowledge as a line umpire with an introduction to and training in chair umpiring. The course is a combination of classroom and on-court work and includes an exam at the end of the course. With experience, good assessments and further courses you can progress to Line and Chair at more high profile tournaments. The role of officiating in tennis is unique to other sports as it often involves regular contact and a supervisory role of children, young people and adults at risk during tournaments. Read how three British officials got on when they travelled to Rome to take a tough exam in officiating. I also spoke to a lad with long hair and a guitar strapped to his back who kept hiding his face. Later, after a sandwich and drink at another church, near Soho Square, I headed for a sunny bench near the river. Danger: The presenter was almost stabbed in the back by a homeless manI waited for the public toilet near Trafalgar Square to be opened and once inside, I took off some of my clothes and washed under my arms.


Champion: Annabel was once the UK's highest world ranked tennis player Within moments he was by my side, grabbed me by the arm and whisked me away from my argument.
Yummy mummy: Annabel with her three children, Amber, left, Charlie, right and LilyBack out on the street, James slept with Drax and me in our cardboard shelter.
A Line Umpire is responsible for calling the lines on the tennis court and the Chair Umpire is responsible for calling the score and settling any issues. Once you are trained you can become a tennis Umpire at local county and regional competition and certain selected tennis Umpires get to officiate at Wimbledon and International events. As I approached the soup kitchen behind St Martin-in-the-Fields church, I saw seven or eight people huddled together.
Only when we were 30 yards clear did he tell me that one of the men had pulled out a knife and was inches away from stabbing me in the back.
I had no money, no phone, no watch and no clue as to how I was going to survive on the streets of London for the next ten days.
I gripped a black bin liner full of moth-eaten jumpers as if it were a Louis Vuitton handbag full of cash.
My only other possession was a sleeping bag a€“ scant protection against the sub-zero nights. Actually, he turned out to be a nice guy called Gumbo, who had kids and a wife he had not seen for two, possibly three years.
On so many occasions I have walked past homeless people and thought: a€?Oh for goodness sake, you are so young. He lifted my spirits a€“ hea€™d given me a plan.I went to the loo in a McDonalda€™s a€“ easy to sneak into at peak times.
On the street, where the smell of alcohol hits you like cheap cologne, you swiftly lose any sense of time.
Get up and go and get a job.a€™ But no one will employ a person who has no address who cana€™t prove who they are.


And in Bond Street, I found a really clean doorway, deep and wide with stone that reminded me of my kitchen at home. I was stunned by the generosity and love shown to me by strangers willing to share what meagre money or food they had.
But I didna€™t feel in the mood to celebrate.Since returning home, ita€™s hard not to be disturbed by what I saw. I faced the terror of a homeless man trying to stick a knife in my back and came to the conclusion that the world of Britaina€™s forgotten underclass doesna€™t appear to have changed much since the days of Charles Dickens.A This was all a world away from the warmth of my beautiful six-bedroom home. I never did find Gumbo to give him my sleeping bag, as I had promised, and that eats at me.
Without wishing to sound smug, I live the life I dreamed of when I travelled the world as Britaina€™s No1 female tennis player. Ia€™ve also had cause to reflect on lifea€™s insecurities after Mel was made redundant from his job as an investment banker in the City.But I feel humbled and privileged to have been part of the programmea€™s mission to make us all think about the homeless. These days I have a husband, Mel, and three gorgeous children, Amber, 15, Charlie, 13, and 11-year-old Lily.
In a world growing ever more materialistic, these are people who have nothing, except each other.Famous, Rich And Homeless is on BBC1 on June 24 and 25 at 9pm.
I combine the school run with a broadcasting career and running the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, where we coach about 100 children after school.A So why was I shivering in Soho? At least, I reminded myself, unlike British soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq,I was under no threat of being bombed.
The forthcoming BBC series Famous, Rich And Homeless is a serious attempt to tackle a pressing social issue a€“ the plight of people living on the streets.Even so, I felt extremely emotional as I left my family to be briefed by John Bird, founder of The Big Issue magazine, which is sold on the streets by homeless people, and Craig Last, who worked with the homeless organisation Centrepoint.



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