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Players on court raising a racket at a disability tennis session and Lister Park courts
Community

Lister Park hosts session for disability day centre delivered by award winning coach Nalette Tucker

• 2 MINUTE READ

A short distance south of Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club, which hosts the Lexus Ilkley Trophy this week, lies Lister Park.

One of 28 newly renovated parks in West Yorkshire as part of the Park Tennis Project, the park tennis courts hosted a session for local disability day centre ‘The Learning Zone’ as the project opens the sport up to people of all ages and abilities to pick up a racket, get active and enjoy playing tennis.

Delivered by the LTA and supported by the LTA Tennis Foundation, the Park Tennis Project is transforming thousands of park tennis courts across Great Britain. The project seeks to substantially increase annual participation in parks by over 500,000 players over the next few years.

Nalette Tucker, who featured in BBC’s Woman’s Power List 2023, not only won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tennis’ Award at the Sporting Equals Awards but has also been recognised by the Bradford Sports Awards as Coach of the Year.

As the action gets going at the Lexus Ilkley Trophy, Nalette delivered a coaching session organised by the LTA on the refurbished surface in Lister Park.

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Discussing the importance of park courts and accessibility, Nalette said: “It was so great to get down to the courts at Lister Park with participants from the day centre from The Learning Zone and get onto the refurbished courts. They all have different disabilities and it’s all about trying to open tennis up to everybody, getting them active and enjoying the session. The courts here have been resurfaced, with new nets and a new booking system and it is so good to see that the LTA have done this across Bradford. It’s really easy to get on find your local courts on the LTA website or if you know a court you can scan the QR code and it takes you straight to the booking so I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it to give it a try and get on new courts near you”

Public tennis courts are key to tennis’ long-term future as they are often where many people first play the game and are venues that have higher participation rates amongst women and girls and disadvantaged communities.

Other park sites in Bradford to be transformed as a result of the Park Tennis Project include Menston Park, Myrtle Park, Northcliffe Park, Peel Park, Silsden Park, Temple Rhydding, Bowling Park, Cottingley Manor and Haworth Central Park.

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Speaking on how the Park Tennis Project will make it far easier for local players of all backgrounds, ages and abilities, Parks Investment Delivery Manager at the LTA Stuart Maidment commented: “We’re really pleased to see that the park tennis courts at Lister Park and across Bradford are back open to the public, and in better shape than ever before.

"These public courts are so important for getting local players active and we want all ages and abilities to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. The sport will be opened up to more players and our aim is to make it as accessible as possible”

“We are looking forward to working with the Local Authority and local club and community groups to engage with, recruit and train volunteer activators who will deliver Free Park Tennis sessions – which are free, fun weekly sessions where people can come and meet people to play against or play with friend/family, borrow equipment, and try the sport out possibly for the first time.”

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