Humans of the Court: Emma’s Story

09/09/2020

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Emma Oliver at Lambeth Tennis Courts

Humans of the Court is a brand new content series on Instagram from the LTA, bringing you real life stories from those who make tennis in Britain what it is. 

Whether they be players, coaches or volunteers, young or old, beginners picking a racket for the first time or life-long veterans, the series will showcase those involved in tennis in communities across the country and shine a spotlight on the many faces of the sport. Follow the LTA and the #HumansOfTheCourt hashtag on Instagram to uncover more stories!

As a child Emma Oliver loved tennis. Growing up in Cork, Ireland, she and her twin sister would spend hours playing against one another at a court right by their home.

She even recalls going on a family holiday, often waking up at 6am to squeeze in practice sessions. But, like many 17-year-olds, Emma found less time for tennis as nights out and exams took precedent over the sport she played throughout her childhood.

Recently, though, Emma – now 29 – has picked up a racket for the first time in 12 years and she’s caught the tennis bug again.

“After the lockdown I couldn’t wait to pick up a racket again”

 “As a kid, my twin sister and I would play tennis in Cork on the court near our house – right through the ages of 7, 8 and 9.

“I remember when we were 13 we went on a family and we played every morning. But by 17 we tapered off playing as much as we started to focus on other things. 

“I normally travel a lot with work, but during the lockdown I was in a situation where I was around week after week, so I wanted to pick up a racket again and start playing.”

When it comes to returning to tennis this year Emma isn’t alone. Official LTA data showed a 372 per cent increase in court bookings from the beginning of May to the end of July compared to the same period last year – an indication that many are rediscovering their love for the sport. 

Emma Oliver at Lambeth Tennis Courts

Emma, who has now started regularly playing against her twin sister again at Lambeth Park tennis courts, central London, particularly enjoys the social side of playing tennis.

“It’s a great way to see friends and it doesn’t feel like exercise”

“I love that tennis is outdoors and it’s very social, I enjoy playing doubles as it’s a great way to see friends. I love running too but that always feels a lot harder – with tennis it doesn’t really feel like exercise.

“When you’ve been sitting all day in front of a laptop all morning it feels amazing to spend time outside, get a sweat on, and play tennis.”

Emma Oliver at Lambeth Tennis Courts

Humans of the Court

Humans of the Court is part of the LTA’s Play Your Way campaign. Follow the #HumansOfTheCourt hashtag to uncover more stories. Find out how to get on court athttps://www.lta.org.uk/playyourway or by following@the_LTA on Twitter and@theLTA1 on Facebook.

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