We were greeted outside the gym by the towering giant, Chris McCann, licking his lips as he realised he had fresh meat to entertain his Tuesday and Thursdays from six till seven. Little did he know that he was about to encounter the true workmen of sport at King’s.
As this was KCL Tennis’ first ever preseason, Hassan ‘Hassassin’ Morad, Ben ‘the prophet’ Zuckerman and Ben ‘Gonzalez’ Faulkner (poor Faulkner, his grunts sound like he may pass out on the next stroke he takes), the preseason OGs, did not know what to expect.
Chris bellowed, “Alright boys, today is your conditioning test, 4 minutes on 4 minutes off, set your rowers to 10 and off you go!” Shudders were sent down our spines. We all strapped up, prepared our final words for each other and on the count of three rowed like we have never rowed before.
On reflection, I think it was roughly 1 minute 24 seconds into my first set that I started to hallucinate. Flashbacks from the two most incredible years (2016-2018) KCL Tennis have ever had were relayed over and over and over (and over) again in my mind.
The thoughts that got me through those gruelling thirty-two minutes:
Firstly, our emphatic 5-1 demolition of UCL at varsity, every KCL Tennis members personal favourite; followed up the next year (2018) by a narrow 4-3 win over a much stronger UCL team. A win is a win, and oh did we celebrate it.
Secondly, in the 2016/17 season, our first team for both men’s and women’s were unbeaten in both their respected leagues, all our teams gained a promotion and the men’s first team won the South Eastern Conference Cup!