Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Making Tennis Childsplay; as a New Campaign Launches to Encourage More Children to Play Tennis, Davis Cup Winning Team Captain Leon Smith Talks about How Parents Can Help Youngsters Take Up the Game

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Making Tennis Childsplay; as a New Campaign Launches to Encourage More Children to Play Tennis, Davis Cup Winning Team Captain Leon Smith Talks about How Parents Can Help Youngsters Take Up the Game

Article excerpt

BRITISH tennis has some bright young stars, as the recent stellar performances in the Australian Open by the brothers Murray and Johanna Konta showed only too well.

But we seriously need more great players - only last year the head of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) admitted the game was in decline.

Without more children picking up rackets, the future of tennis in Britain doesn't look promising. Luckily, a new campaign is trying to attract more youngsters to the sport, by encouraging parents to get them involved.

The Ready to Play initiative features advice and a series of fun videos showing simple games for parents to play with their children to help them learn the basic skills needed for tennis, including hand-eye coordination, accuracy and ball control.

The videos star the current Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith, who last year led Great Britain to its first victory in the Davis Cup since 1936. Leon, who used to coach Andy Murray, is head of men's tennis at the LTA and is keen to ensure Britain's upcoming tennis talents are as successful as the current generation.

"Tennis has so much to offer for a young player and introducing them to it at a younger age will keep them in the sport longer," he says.

A key part of getting more children interested in tennis is through schools and Leon says the Tennis Foundation, which delivers teacher training in tennis and provides tennis equipment, has now reached more than 20,000 British schools.

Getting more clubs and parks to host the sport is also vital, he adds, so kids have somewhere to play outside school.

Having successful role models is also key to encouraging children to take up a sport. Leon lists Andy and Jamie Murray, Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Laura Robson as the current tennis icons.

"If you speak to any of the top players, they'll all say they had an idol when they started out. Heather, Laura and most recently Johanna, are fantastic role models for young girls. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.