Tennis club to open its doors at town festival

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A tennis club is encouraging people to get into the sport after a summer of success for Great Britain’s athletes.

New Mills Tennis Club are holding free taster sessions as part of the town’s annual festival on September 11 from 11am-4pm at their Church Road courts.

It follows an action-packed summer of sporting success for British athletes which has included a second Olympic and Wimbledon titles for Andy Murray.

Chris Morton, a member of the tennis club’s committee, is hoping it has inspired more people to get in to sport and has thrown the club’s doors open.

He said: “Andy Murray might not be but is playing at the level of World Number One. He’s won Wimbledon and the Olympics and he will continue to succeed in the next 12 months. It’s great because it’s putting tennis in the spotlight.

“We have a great club that we want people to know about. Those who have moved to the area might not know about us yet or it may inspire others to pick up a racket again. We are nestled away a little but a popular little club.”

And added: “There will be people from the club there so anyone interested can speak to them directly, learn about the club and have a go at playing tennis. We’ve got some new courts that will help us play almost all year round.

“We have had a lot of interest in the club since the football European Championships finished in July and then again following Wimbledon. So many juniors and families are taking up the sport - they’re our biggest membership.

“It’s been non-stop busy since the first week in July. We’ve had a dozen or so new members and there is a good feel around the club. We are very much a family friendly club, my parents ran it for many years.”

Chris currently works in Switzerland as a primary school teacher and has been a keen player for more than 30 years when he too felt inspired to pick up a racket.

The players he looked up to - Boris Becker, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl - have been replaced with a new crop of talents he feels are strong role models for youngsters.

“Tennis is a fun sport to play,” he said. “Kids might play football or another sport and not really thought about tennis. People like Andy Murray are great because they are role models for people to look up to on and off the court.

“He and the other top players around the world put themselves through a lot to get the physical side of their game right. Tennis has gone that way, the same way as cycling, where every detail is looked at in the higher levels.”

And Chris, though restricted in his involvement due to work, said there was no restrictions when it came to those interested in taking up tennis or revisiting the sport.

He said: “I like to see the club do well. It’s been a challenging year but we’re moving along in the right direction. We know our future will see a lot more family memberships for the club.

“The key age to take up the sport is from six or seven but there is really no limit to what age you can start. Tennis is such a great sport it really does develop your footwork, balance, flexibility and above all else it’s just really good fun.”

The club has recently spent £6,000 resurfacing its three courts to help prolong the tennis season that bit more for its members.

The club are offering their final summer coaching course from Tuesday, August 29 to Friday, September 2.

The course runs each day from 10am-4pm and the cost is £15 a day, with the fifth day free. To book a place please contact Alex on 07468 462 718 or visit the website www.newmillstennisclub.co.uk.