Tennis for Kids is back to offer free tennis to 20,000 children
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Sign-ups are now open for Tennis for Kids 2017 – the second year of the Lawn Tennis Association’s biggest ever grassroots initiative, in partnership with Highland Spring.
After a hugely successful first year, Tennis for Kids will be bigger and better in 2017, with free courses and rackets available to 20,000 children, aged five to eight years old all over the United Kingdom.
Last year, Tennis for Kids aimed to inspire 10,000 children to pick up a racket and play tennis for the first time. It was so successful that the 10,000 places were filled within a week, prompting the LTA to release a further 5,000 places. The fun, six-week course also resulted in almost half of those who took part continuing to play after completing the lessons.
The course is aimed at children who have never played before, so focuses on fun and getting kids active, combining basic hand eye coordination with rudimentary tennis skills.
Sessions also teach children how to work with a partner, become a valuable member of a team and, through our partnership with Highland Spring, establish healthy hydration habits – all in a fun and relaxed environment. Parents are also encouraged to join for the final session when 20,000 children will be gifted their first racket.
Tennis for Kids was launched after Great Britain’s historic Davis Cup victory in 2015 to establish greater accessibility into tennis, with a view to creating a new generation of tennis-loving children.
The free six-week course is led by 1,000 specially trained coaches, who have been trained at 16 sessions all over the UK by Davis Cup captain Leon Smith, former British number ones Greg Rusedski and Annabel Croft, and 2016 Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles champion Alfie Hewett. Local venues are in charge of their own timings, but courses will be running from April all the way through the summer.
Sign up to Tennis for Kids!
To get involved in Tennis for Kids, parents can simply click here to sign up their kids at their closest venue.
Annabel Croft, former British No.1, said: “It is fantastic that the Tennis for Kids initiative is back bigger and better for its second year. As a parent myself, seeing more and more children taking to the courts is great, and it is inspiring to see them enjoying tennis, having fun, learning a new skill and getting active from such a young age. Programmes such as this one are a brilliant way of encouraging children to pick up a racket for the first time, and fulfil the legacy of our current British Tennis talent.”
Alastair Marks, LTA Director of Participation, said: “Following the fantastic success of Tennis for Kids in 2016 we’re thrilled to bring it back for a second year, even bigger and better. We were bowled over with the results last year and wanted to build on the legacy and provide even more children across the country the opportunity to pick up a racket and have fun playing tennis. Initiatives such as this are so important in introducing children to a sport they might not necessarily have tried and helping to drive increased participation in our sport. We‘ve been working with our brilliant Tennis for Kids coaches to make sure we’re delivering a programme that engages, excites and inspires the kids and look forward to welcome the class of 2017 to the game we all love.”
Les Montgomery, Chief Executive of Highland Spring, said: “Highland Spring is passionate about encouraging as many families as possible to get active, have some fun and make healthy hydration choices – helping them stay naturally hydrated throughout the day. That’s what our partnership with the LTA is all about. The Tennis for Kids initiative will continue to bring more children into tennis and empower families to get the water habit at the same time. We’re excited to see the results that year two will bring.”