Watched by local MP Amber Rudd, junior teams from Hastings with coach Claire Larkin, and Rye with coach Frances Candy, battled it out on the grass courts of Rye Lawn Tennis Club last Saturday.
The boys and girls – aged from 4 to 13 – had perfect weather for the occasion, with sunshine and no wind and although the close-fought contest resulted in a victory for the Hastings team, there was no doubting the enthusiasm shown by both sides. Amber Rudd commented that it was good to see children in the fresh air and being encouraged to take part in such a fun, healthy and clearly-enjoyable activity.
Most of the participants had been introduced to the game through the school/club link – the coach visits the school and gives free introductory lessons there followed, for those who want to learn more, by group lessons at Rye LTC or on park courts at Alexandra Park, Hastings. At the moment this is confined to the primary schools but Rye coach Frances Candy hopes that with Amber’s support, it will soon be possible to extend this to children of secondary school age.
Frances said “Although this match is for the younger age groups, tennis is a fun, healthy and very social activity that can be enjoyed by anybody of any age and is a great family activity. You don’t have to be a potential Andy Murray – I have players I coach from 4 years old through to some in their 70’s and ranging from a good standard of play to complete beginners. You are never to young or too old to start.”
MP Amber Rudd added: “It was fantastic to see these young champions competing and staying fit, with great coaching from Frances and Claire! Lots of budding Wimbledon players coming soon!”
Anyone interested in trying out tennis can contact either Frances on 07801 842704 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the Rye area or Claire on 07592 793588 or email@example.com for Hastings