More children than ever across London are getting the chance to take part in the Lawn Tennis Association‘s hugely successful Tennis for Kids programme and pick up a tennis racket for the first time, thanks to an increase in the number of places available for children in London and the South East.
The news, which comes during the Wimbledon fortnight, will see around 1000 more places made available for children across the capital on the six-session introductory tennis programmes, which are delivered by specially trained and accredited LTA coaches.
Tennis for Kids launched following Great Britain’s famous Davis Cup by BNP Paribas win in 2015. The programme is now in its third year and is aimed at children who have never played before to establish a genuine tennis participation legacy and develop a new generation of tennis loving children across the country.
Around 2000 children are already taking part in courses across London with the increase in courses and places following an overwhelming demand from children to play, with over 50% continuing to play on a follow-on course. This forms part of the LTA’s plans to further grow the number of young players across the nation and meet rising demand for the programme, with some key changes this year including: being an ‘always on’ programme, widening the age range to 4-11 year olds and broadening the locations with more accredited coaches taking part than ever before.
To celebrate this announcement, representatives from the LTA joined Tennis for Kids coaches and 30 local children at Stratford Park in Newham this week, where the programme is already providing popular and has been made more accessible thanks to recent investment in park facilities by the LTA and the London Borough of Newham. Around 70 children are involved in the programme this year, with another 100 places now available locally. With demand continuing to increase, LTA accredited coaches are now uploading further Tennis for Kids courses, enabling even more children to get on court.
Over 55,000 children across the country have taken part since Tennis for Kids’ launch in 2016 and there has been an unprecedented take-up for this year’s programme, with over 21,000 sign-ups so far this year.
Tom Gibbins, Head of Children, Young People and Education at the LTA said:
Tennis for Kids is proving to be very popular across the country and it’s brilliant that over 55,000 children have signed up to take part since it started. We are committed to enabling more children to try tennis and with the programme now available all year round, we hope even more will have the chance to play. Being in Newham this week, it’s clear the fun and enthusiasm children have for the sport, and it’s great to see Tennis for kids thriving in all areas of London.
Tennis for Kids courses take place across the country, and include their own kit with a special Tennis for Kids BABOLAT racket, ball set and personalised t-shirt, delivered directly to participants for £25.
Chris Evans, a Tennis for Kids Coach in Newham, said:
It’s been brilliant to be part of so many children’s first experience of tennis. The regeneration of the facilities in Newham has had such a positive impact on children in the area and it’s vital that we, as coaches, continue to provide opportunities for young players by putting on more Tennis for Kids courses.
To find out more and get involved with the Tennis for Kids programme, visit www.tennis-for-kids.co.uk