Shropshire tennis clubs will embrace the overwhelming success of the first year of Tennis for Kids by serving up a host of free tennis sessions for county youngsters starting this month.
More than 13,000 children nationwide took advantage of the Lawn Tennis Association’s initiative to introduce children aged between five and eight to the sport last year.
It included hundreds of Shropshire youngsters and, to the delight of Tennis Shropshire officials, many of them have continued to play.
Now clubs around the county, more than last year, are getting ready to throw open their doors to help get the next generation hooked on just how much fun playing tennis is.
Coaches have regularly hailed it as the most exciting venture they have known to be launched by the LTA to spark interest from youngsters.
Courses will run for six weeks and children receive a free racket which they will be able to keep at the end of the sessions if they attend regularly.
Bob Kerr, the chairman of Tennis Shropshire, said: “We are looking forward to the return of Tennis for Kids this month and it will be bigger and better than last year, which proved an outstanding success, with the LTA targeting 20,000 children taking part throughout 2017.
“Nearly 1,000 coaches have been selected around the country, with a good number here in Shropshire, and they have all attended training days to ensure they are ready to deliver the fun Tennis for Kids session at many venues around the county.
“Former British women’s No 1 Annabel Croft, who is heavily involved in the Tennis for Kids initiative, and Sam Richardson, the LTA coach who devised the programme, recently spent time with county coaches at The Shrewsbury Club outlining some of the tweaks to this year’s sessions.
“It really is an exciting chance for youngsters to get involved in tennis as they have the opportunity to keep attending the venue they go to once they have completed their initial six weeks.”
Free places can now be booked now on around 100 different courses to be held around the county, with many starting later this month, from April 22, and others spread across the summer months.
Early booking is recommended via the LTA website to avoid disappointment with demand for places expected to be high.
Tennis for Kids courses in Shropshire will be held at these tennis clubs: Alveley, Baschurch, Bishop’s Castle, Boughey Gardens in Newport, Bridgnorth, Broseley, Calverhall, Cound & District, High Ercall, Hollies in Whitchurch, Lilleshall Village, Ludlow Castle, Market Drayton, Oswestry Team Tennis, Shifnal, Shrewsbury Lawn, The Shrewsbury Club, Telford Tennis Centre, Tilstock, Wem and Worfield,
To book a place on a course, visit https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/tennisforkids
Pictured: Former British women’s No 1 Annabel Croft, left, and LTA coach Sam Richardson, right, who devised the Tennis for Kids programme, passed on information about this year’s Tennis for Kids courses to Shropshire tennis coaches at The Shrewsbury Club.