STOURBRIDGE tennis players gave youngsters still suffering the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster a warm welcome when they hosted a now annual visit to their club.

Members of Wollaston Lawn Tennis Club invited children from Belarus to their base, off Prestwood Drive, in Stourton, for an action-packed fun day.

It is now 30 years since the nuclear disaster which left the Eastern European country with more than 70 per cent of the radioactive fallout and thousands of children there are born with thyroid or bone cancer and leukaemia or go on to develop it later in life.

The recent visit, organised by Kinver resident Ann Becke, of Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity, was the fourth year running that Wollaston Tennis Club has hosted the children, allowing them to spend a month breathing in clean air and eating good food to boost their immune system.

And the youngsters were raring to go following a 14 hour journey across Europe the previous day and after receiving club t-shirts they took part in a number of fun games on court including a game of football against club members and the host dads.

The fun continued after a barbecue, ice cream and cakes, with a table tennis/tennis match between Wollaston club tennis champion Adam Tranter who took on 12-year-old Lisa, the age group table tennis champion of Belarus, who is hoping to compete in the upcoming European championship.

The combined challenge ended in an honourable draw.

Club chairman John Cutler said: “It was difficult to tell who was enjoying the occasion the most, the children or our members.

“We all enjoy giving rather than receiving and we all enjoyed giving these children a day to remember and take back good memories for the rest of their lives in Belarus.”