70,000 tennis balls to be donated to venues and coaches to help bounce back of tennis
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A total of 70,000 tennis balls that had been planned for use by the world’s leading stars during this summer’s grass court season are instead to be donated by the LTA and The All England Lawn Tennis Club to venues and coaches across the country to help grow participation.
The donation will see the balls distributed to grassroots coaches, as well as venues including clubs, parks and schools. It supports the LTA’s Play Your Way campaign to get more people involved in the sport by encouraging them to get back on court, promoting the accessibility of tennis however and wherever people choose to play it.
The majority of the Slazenger Wimbledon 2020 tennis balls had been due to be used across the LTA’s series of grass court events this summer, including the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club, Nature Valley Open in Nottingham, Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham and the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, as well as the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.
Adding to the LTA donation, The All England Lawn Tennis Club has provided 30,000 balls that would have otherwise been used at The Championships, Wimbledon during this fortnight.
Venues and coaches who have joined the Play Your Way campaign by committing to opening up their court time and coaching sessions to the public through LTA Rally can receive a supply of the free balls. Those eligible are able to request one box of 72 balls per registered venue or accredited coach by emailing email@example.com with a link to your coaching or court time booking links from LTA Rally.
The donation further builds on the support packages the LTA have put in place to help ensure tennis in Britain emerges from this period in as strong and healthy a position as possible, and the sport resumes its unique role in keeping the nation active.
Scott Lloyd, LTA CEO, said: “Over the past few months we have done all we can to protect and support tennis from parks to elite level. While the cancellation of this summer’s grass court events was a disappointment to so many people, we are delighted to be able to create something positive from it by supporting grassroots venues and coaches as part of our Play Your Way campaign and our work to open up tennis to many more people.
“We would like to thank The All England Lawn Tennis Club for joining us to support this initiative, and look forward to seeing all of the tennis balls being put to good use by our registered venues and accredited coaches across the country.”
Alongside the donation the LTA, The All England Lawn Tennis Club is also making smaller donations of 2020 Championships balls to charities, as well as earmarking 25,000 Championships 2020 towels for charities and organisations dedicated to helping society’s most vulnerable.
Richard Lewis CBE, Chief Executive of the AELTC, said: “We are committed to using the collective strength of Wimbledon to provide help for those in need, and so we are pleased to be able to put the towels and balls which had been produced for this year’s Championships to good use. It was strongly felt that the bulk of The Championships balls should be directed to the LTA to help them encourage more people into the sport, while The Championships towels would be best donated to charities who are working to support society’s most vulnerable, those affected by homelessness and seeking basic household supplies.”
To find out more about Play Your Way, and how you can find and book a court near you, visit www.lta.org.uk/PlayYourWay.
Photo credit: AELTC/Bob Martin.