Grab Your Free Tennis for Kids Sessions with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) today!
My grandad has always loved watching tennis, so when his only grandchild reached the tender age of 6, he decided to sign her up for tennis lessons. For two years after that, my auntie would drag me to my tennis lessons every Wednesday morning. I was not keen. Then one day, tennis lessons mysteriously stopped and my auntie even more mysteriously disappeared. I found out a couple of years later that my much-loved auntie had fled with my tennis teacher (ouch!). Tennis was never mentioned again in my family. Not once.
Fast forward 12 years and I was working as a nanny in Paris. My little protégé would attend tennis coaching every Wednesday, and I would watch him run, hop from one foot to the other, hit the yellow ball with his small racket, rarely missing one. Maxou, at the grand age of 8, was a natural. He loved his tennis lessons and seeing him so confident and buzzing, week after week, made me wish I had been encouraged to persevere with tennis when I was younger.
15 years later (gosh, not getting any younger, am I?) and I have 4 children of my own. They all swim and two of the girls dance as well. Other activities include Art, learning to play the piano and the guitar and mucking about together. We are lacking a bit in more social sports, me-thinks.
Free Tennis for Kids, you say?
Enter the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Free Tennis for Kids sessions. Although I have no dreams of glory and fame for my children (no need to worry, Andy Murray!), I find tennis a brilliant way to stay active and to make new friends along the way.
The 100% free Tennis for Kids is LTA’s flagship programme, with 20,000 spaces for 5-8 year olds who are keen to try tennis for the first time. Not only will children in the course get six weeks of tennis sessions, but they will also receive a free racket on completion of the course.
Free Tennis for Kids… for Real?
When I first heard of the programme, I thought, “Oh OK, that’s nice, but I bet I’ll end up driving for miles and miles to get to the closest court on the programme.” How pessimistic of me! When I first looked for availability (check here), I tentatively asked to see available sessions within a 5-mile radius, and there were 9 different places I could take my children to! I opted for the closest (1.5 miles), near one of our favourite play parks. Beanie (6) and Crevette (8) were ecstatic when I told them they would be learning to play tennis. OK, maybe Beanie was a tad less excited than her brother, but that seems to be her default attitude at the moment.
I really am impressed with Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) for offering free tennis for sessions for kids on such a large scale, and all across the UK as well. It is a fantastic way to encourage little ones to be active, discover tennis and gain some new skills throughout the 6-week programme they will be taking part in. Trying a new sport is not something all families can afford, so I really value this project and hope many get the places they want.
The free #TennisForKids sessions take place from 22 April 2017.
5 to 8-year-olds who are new to tennis
The programme focuses on keeping young children interested and fully engaged, even if they have never picked up a tennis racket before. .
Children attending can wear whatever feels comfortable, with suitable footwear (trainers) and they do not need to bring anything other than a water bottle.
The sort of activities you should expect are ball games that will help with hand-eye coordination. The balls are softer than traditional tennis balls, and therefore well-suited for beginners. The court the children will be playing on is smaller, with a smaller net. The coaches in charge of sessions are trained in getting beginners excited and motivated.
At the end of the #TennisForKids course, children receive a free tennis racket that is theirs to keep!
To book your free tennis for kids sessions, click here.
Have you signed up yet?
Disclosure: I am working in a paid relationship with the Lawn Tennis Association on their #TennisForKids campaign. All photos and opinions are my own. Sign up for your FREE tennis sessions here.