Veteran Christian pop star Cliff Richard took time out from rehearsals for his gigs in Israel earlier this week (beg08Jul13) to hit the tennis courts he helped fund at a Nazareth school.

The Young Ones singer is in the country to perform two shows at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, but he couldn't resist a quick game of tennis.

He showed up at the Nazareth Tennis School to check out the talent, and he was thrilled to see Arabs and Jews ignoring nationwide religious tensions and enjoying the game he loves.

He tells the Jerusalem Post, "When anybody does anything to do with tennis and young people, what you’re hoping for ultimately is for them to grow up having tennis as a sport to play. It’s a very social sport, it’s easy to play, you make a lot of friends, that’s the ultimate goal."

Richard became involved with the school in 2004 in an effort to promote co-existence among the city’s young Jews and Arabs, and he has high hopes he'll see one of the kids who is currently playing on the courts in Nazareth at Wimbledon.

He adds, "There is no reason why the next world champion can’t come from Israel."