Tennis for Kids: More chances for children to try tennis in Norfolk
• 3 MINUTE READ
More children in Norwich are getting the chance to pick up a tennis racket for the first time and get active thanks to the expansion of the LTA’s biggest grassroots initiative and improvements to parks facilities in the city.
Over 1,800 children across Norfolk have already taken part in the popular Tennis for Kids programme since it launched in 2016 and a further 100 new places in Norwich were announced today at a session at Eaton Park, where the facilities have recently benefited from improvements, enabling more children and families to play tennis all year round.
Across the region, nearly 12,000 children have enjoyed the programme to date and with recent research from UK Active indicating that children can lose 80% of their fitness during school holidays, Tennis for Kids provides the perfect opportunity for children to stay active and have fun on court. With 130 courses now available region-wide, over 1,000 children will be able to take part in the coming months.
Tennis for Kids is an introductory tennis programme aimed at four to 11-year-olds delivered over six sessions by specially trained and accredited LTA coaches. It is now in its third year, having launched following Great Britain’s famous Davis Cup victory in 2015.
Representatives from the LTA joined coaches, children and parents from the region at the city’s historic park on a summer holiday programme where some of the new Tennis for Kids courses will run in September and October. Further sessions take place in Norwich at Waterloo Park, which has also benefitted from improvement, Harford Park and across Norfolk.
The recent investment in the tennis courts and facilities at Eaton Park by Norwich City Council and the LTA included new floodlights for three of the park’s seven courts, which will enable the venue to host Tennis for Kids programmes during the winter months. With 13,000 hours of court time booked in the last year alone, the park site is becoming a real tennis hub for the community.
Over 50,000 children across the country have taken part since the initiative was launched and there has been unprecedented take up for this year’s programme, with over 24,000 sign ups nationwide so far this year. Parents are also encouraged to join in with the sessions and a number of them now play tennis having been inspired by their children.
Karen Highfield, Tennis for Kids coach who runs the sessions at Eaton Park said: “The Tennis for Kids programme has been so popular in the city and its great news that even more children will get the chance to take part in it with more courses and places being made available.
"As a coach it’s an amazing feeling to be part of so many children’s first experience of tennis. It has such a positive impact on those who take part and it’s great when the parents also get involved. Our summer programmes have been fully booked and with the new floodlights, we’ll now be able to run even more over the winter and keep children active all year round.”
John Golding, Head of East Region at the LTA also commented: “Tennis for Kids is really thriving nationwide and with nearly 12,000 children having taken part across the East region alone since the programme’s inception in 2016, shows just how popular the sport is amongst young people.
"We hope that with more Tennis for Kids courses available, coupled with continued investment in redeveloping facilities in Norwich and the surrounding areas, more children and those in the community can get on court and be active throughout the year.”