Sports charity serves up free tennis sessions in Consett as part of national programme to improve physical and mental wellbeing across the UK
After the nation was gripped recently by Wimbledon, national sports charity ‘Tennis For Free’ has served up an ace for Consett and the surrounding area by investing in a programme of free tennis sessions at the Sherburn Park tennis courts, Stanley Gardens, Consett, DH8 6LJ starting on Sunday 21 July 10-11.30am. In an exciting partnership with Durham County Council and the LTA, Tennis For Free will provide free coach-led tennis sessions for all the family for one year as part of its aim to use tennis to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of all members of the community across the UK.
With over 100 schemes across the UK, Sherburn Park is one of several similar schemes in the North of England and will be every Sunday between 10-11.30am. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need a racquet or a ball as all equipment is provided free of charge. Sign up for Tennis For Free Sherburn Park now at www.tennisforfree.com
Lead scheme organiser David Esther said: “I am very excited to welcome Tennis For Free to Consett. The Sherburn Park Tennis For Free scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the local community to try tennis for either the first time, or to dust off the cobwebs after a time away from the sport. It’s a fun, friendly and entertaining free weekly event where you’ll make new friends and benefit from regular exercise. There is no catch, as the name suggests, everything is free.”
Tennis For Free CEO Paul Jessop said: “We are changing the image of tennis to a sport for ALL by removing the cost barrier so that members of all communities can play and benefit physically, mentally and socially. Sherburn Park is one of hundreds of schemes we are opening across the UK over the next five years as part of our plan to get more people playing this wonderful sport. We have created specially designed programmes to welcome families, the old and the young, of any ability and the beauty is that each session is led by qualified tennis coaches who will ensure people develop at their own pace.
“But it’s not just about the playing. We have seen at our other schemes that small friendly community groups grow. This social cohesion is great to see especially for those who may not think tennis is for them but is for another member of their family. People can still stay involved and help run the schemes. We are always looking for local volunteers to grow the game, indeed some of our most successful and sustainable schemes across the UK have the coaches supported by a team of volunteers who organise further events which all contributes towards everyone’s well-being.”
Laurie Haines from the LTA said: “We are very excited about the free activities being created for people to play tennis in Rochdale through the Tennis for Free programme, and Sherburn Park is a really accessible park in the heart of the community. Having good local easy to access park facilities where you can play informally with your family and friends is really important to encourage people to play. But Tennis For Free is also about the ability to meet new people and develop friendships, taking regular exercise and simply having fun. It isn’t about finding the next Andy Murray, but about making tennis accessible to all.”
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council Cabinet member for Economic Regeneration, including leisure services, said: “These sessions are great for everyone, from total beginners who have never picked up a racquet to people who play regularly. Not only are the sessions themselves free, but all the equipment is provided for free and there’ll be qualified coaches on hand to help improve your game, all at no cost. These sessions will benefit those with limited access to sport, enhance physical and mental well-being and re-energise people of all ages.”
Sign up for Tennis For Free at Sherburn Park every Sunday from 10-11.30am at www.tennisforfree.com. You can also follow Tennis For Free on Twitter and Facebook @tennisforfree
Pictured – Lead coach David Esther