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Youngsters inspired to pick up a racket and get active

Published: 9 July 2019

Having an ace time in Exeter

Youngsters in Exeter are being encouraged to give tennis a try for the first time as part of a drive to get families from communities across the region more active.

Exeter City Council has teamed up with the LTA as part of the Tennis For Kids (TFK) scheme. All of the City Council’s tennis courts are free to use throughout the year and youngsters can also tap into the LTA’s hugely affordable TFK programme.

With the second week of Wimbledon underway and Brit hope Johanna Konta enjoying one of her best ever Grand Slam runs, children from the city took to the courts at Heavitree Pleasure Grounds to take part in a Tennis for Kids taster session led by local coaches.

Cllr Ollie Pearson, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “Events like this are fantastic for Exeter. Promoting active and healthy lifestyles is a key strategic priority for the City Council.

“We have the ambition for Exeter to be the most active city in England, with a high quality built environment and open green spaces accessible to all residents.

"Parks are a significant asset that promote health and wellbeing and provide great spaces for people to be active. Our free, recently-developed tennis courts are a feature in two key parks at Heavitree Pleasure Ground and Cowick Barton Playing Fields.

“We see these as local tennis hubs for families to play together, a great way to enjoy the game in a fun, informal and free facility.”

The LTA’s Tennis for Kids programme focuses on kids having fun and making new friends while getting active. It is part of range of low-cost and free community tennis activities on offer at Heavitree and other park sites across the city and Devon in the coming months.

Since launching in 2016 following Great Britain’s historic Davis Cup, over 74,000 children have taken part in Tennis for Kids and this year the scheme is hoping to sign up its 100,000th participant. In that time over 1,000 children from Devon have taken part in the six-week course, which gives 4-11-year-olds an introduction to the sport.

Sharon Heeley of the LTA, said: “Tennis is a great activity for all the family to enjoy together and Tennis for Kids is the perfect way for children to try the sport for the first time in a fun and positive way. We share the council’s vision to get more families active and Tennis for Kids together with a range of other low-cost and free tennis activities for all the family in the city can make a real difference.”

Children who take part in the sessions get their own kit with a special Tennis for Kids racket & ball set and a personalised t-shirt, all for under £30.

To find out more about Tennis for Kids and sign-up to a local course click here

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