Walking Tennis

What is Walking Tennis? 

Walking tennis is a safe, fun and inclusive way of getting active on a tennis court. It’s a game that’s open to anybody – to lifelong tennis players, those new to the sport and those who just need a bit more time.

Because age isn’t a barrier for walking tennis players, it provides another way for older people to keep their mind and body active on the court – while also enjoying the social side of being part of a tennis venue. 

Sport England’s Active Lives data highlights that before the pandemic, we were seeing strong growth in older adult activity levels.

But as a result of the pandemic, older people have become less active.

Walking Tennis offers older people a great opportunity to get out and exercise, following a challenging year.

How did it start?

Walking Tennis started in Bristol, back in 2018. Co-founders Helen Abbott, a retired physiotherapist and LTA accredited coach, and Peter Coniglio, a former LTA accredited coach and now Solution Focused Mental Health Performance Coach, designed the rules, and created the format, for Walking Tennis in a bid to get more people playing the sport.  

The pair started trialling the new game at a festival called WalkFest in May 2019. More than 100 players tried the sport and its growth in popularity led to the Walking Tennis Association forming later that year.

In 2021 the Walking Tennis Association became part of the LTA and our work to open up tennis and its benefits to more people.

Who is it for?

Walking Tennis is for anyone that wants to play tennis, but at their own pace.

It’s ideal for those who:

  • Are just starting out and want to build up their confidence
  • Are returning from an injury
  • Just need a bit more time getting to the ball

How is it played?

It’s still tennis – but with a few tweaks. Walking Tennis has been designed to be accessible for all, meaning:

  • It can be played on a smaller court with different types of equipment
  • Players are allowed to let the ball bounce twice for extra time
  • Players can't run or jump

What will I need to run a Walking Tennis session?

Coaches should use low compression balls to give players more time.

It is recommended participants complete a medical declaration form before taking part – a copy can be downloaded here.

Do I need to attend any training?

Level 2 accredited coaches and above can deliver this programme with no additional training.

What resources are available?

Download the quick guide for coaches here

Download print assets here

Download digital assets here