LTA help NPL Tennis Finals get underway with new women’s league and community engagement activity
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The National Premier League (NPL) Finals are set to get underway in the North East today with the new edition of a women’s league.
The LTA provides support and contributes funding to event organiser National Premier League Tennis, and has worked closely with them to introduce the new women’s league this year.
Taking place from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 April at Tennis World in Middleborough and David Lloyd Teesside, the tournament is the highest standard winter tennis league in Great Britain and is set to be the biggest tennis event staged in the North East this year. Over 100 teams from across the country will battle it out fin the doubles event for a share of a £19,000 prize fund. A number of world ranked players will be competing with leading British players Marcus Willis, Liam Broady, Lee Childs, Anna Smith and Mel South among those that could be in action for their teams.
Beyond the competition on court, the LTA yesterday kicked the event off by hosting a community engagement programme specifically planned around the event. The activity saw 240 local schoolchildren take part in fun tennis activities at Tennis World, before taking home a goody bag containing information about local tennis opportunities. In addition, children also got the chance to meet Judy Murray, who spent time talking to pupils from local schools invited by the LTA and getting involved with the activities.
Reflecting the LTA’s new vision to open tennis up to as many people as possible, those involved in the participation activity include an Special educational needs school and a school catering for students with behavioural issues. Twenty visually impaired students participated in the event activity, having been regular participants in the LTA’s disability tennis activities. In addition, seven volunteers from Tees Valley Sound Tennis, (North East Disability Sports Awards’ Outstanding Club of the Year 2018) supported the delivery of activities.
Keith Carder, Head of Competitions at the LTA said: “This year’s National Premier League Tennis Finals promises to offer some fantastic entertainment for fans in the stands and we’re delighted this year that includes the chance to watch the new women’s league. The doubles team format is something different to what many people will have seen before and creates excitement right around the venue. “
“We want to use the event to engage the local community in tennis and so we are delighted to be able to deliver tennis activity to so many local children. Some of them may never have picked up a tennis racket before, but we want to show that tennis can truly be a sport for all”.
Mike Dixon, Tournament Director for National Premier League Tennis, said: “We’re really excited to be staging this event in the North East. I’d like to thank Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough Council and the LTA for their support of the event, as well as both Tennis World and David Lloyd Teesside, our lead sponsors Beaumont Accountancy and also Dunlop Sports. We’re particularly pleased this year to have worked with the LTA to introduce the new women’s league for the first time, and to have Judy Murray visiting to help us launch that.”
In addition to the LTA, the tournament is also supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority and its destination marketing service Enjoy Tees Valley, Middlesbrough Council and backing from lead sponsors Beaumont Accountancy. The tournament officially launched with a sold-out gala dinner at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium in Yarm last night, with Judy Murray and former footballer John Hartson attending as guest speakers.
Play starts at 10am each day and runs through to 9pm each night and fans in the North East can watch the action live through puchasing tickets for just £5. To find out more about the National Premier League Tennis Finals or to purchase tickets visit www.nationalpremierleaguetennis.com.