Tennis For Kids: It’s back for 2017!

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During the Easter holidays, I found myself in a slightly embarrassing position. I was at the Lawn Tennis Association’s headquarters in London with Helen, my eldest daughter.

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Helen and Annabel Croft take a break during the filing of the Lawn Tennis Association’s #TennisForKids campaign video.

She’d had the good fortune to receive a tennis coaching session from former Wimbledon Junior Champion Annabel Croft, although more about that in a moment. During a break in proceedings, Helen sat down for a rest next to a man I recognised.

I turned my back for a moment. Seconds later, she was having a chat with this chap. I couldn’t quite place him, so I asked a passerby who looked knowledgeable.

Without a hint of disdain, he said: “That’s Greg Rusedski.”

Okay, so it’s still not quite as bad as the time my mother asked Jason Donavon if he had: “Been in anything I might know?” Even so, I did feel a little daft at not identifying one of the UK’s most highly decorated tennis players.

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A #TennisForKids coaching session underway at the LTA HQ in London. The chap just off centre with the red tennis racquet: that’s Jason Donavon. Sorry, I mean Greg Rusedski.

As you have possibly gathered, Helen and I were at a very special promotional event organised by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and BritMums. We were to feature in a video to promote the LTA Tennis For Kids campaign, which you can watch by clicking on the embedded video below.

This is a campaign that’s very close to our hearts. Last year the LTA provided 13,200 children with free tennis lessons.

Helen was one of the kids to benefit from the sessions. I took her to weekly lessons with an experienced coach and she absolutely loved it and remains a fan of the sport.

Sometimes she just knocks a ball around the Swingball in the garden. Sometimes I take her to the local park where there are a couple of tennis courts and dad and daughter have some fun practicing rallies or attempt a game (Helen always wins, naturally).

Even little sister Izzy has got in on the act. If she sees Helen and I playing, she will often pick up a racquet and ask to join in.

Helen still talks fondly about the Davis Cup match we went to see last year. It was well worth going as we got to see the Murray brothers beat the Japanese team.

This year the LTA has made #TennisForKids bigger and better. This year the aim is to give 20,000 children free tennis lessons.

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The Lawn Tennis Association is making free lessons available to 20,000 children but you will need to sign up quickly.

This is where Annabel Croft comes in. We had the great fortune to meet Annabel last year and she is such an inspiring figure. Annabel is very approachable and having seen her coach Helen, full of encouragement and keen to nurture young fans of the sport.

As Annabel said herself, the #TennisForKids campaign is about getting children interested in tennis.  While I’m sure the LTA would be delighted if it did produce a few Grand Slam winners, it is about getting kids into the sport so they develop an interest it and enjoy it.

As a dad, I’m all for it. Anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle and gets kids away from screens gets my vote.

#tennisforkids, tennis For Kids, tennis, active children, Annabel Croft, dadbloguk, dadbloguk.com, school run dad
Helen and Annabel Croft practise rallies while a camera crew records the action. Helen even managed to sneak a couple of balls past Annabel!

If you are interested in the #TennisForKids campaign yourself, you will find further information by following this link to the LTA website. Lessons get underway on 22 April but don’t be put off by the tight deadline. There are over 900 qualified coaches offering lessons so it is worth exploring to see if you can get lessons close to where you live.

For Helen and us as a family, #TennisForKids has been a fantastic experience. I think it’s fantastic to see youngsters develop an interest in tennis and it’s something I will be encouraging in the years ahead.


Disclosure: I’m working with the Lawn Tennis Association and BritMums in a paid relationship, highlighting the #TennisforKids programme and the FREE tennis lessons for children available at local tennis clubs across the UK. Find out more here.



12 thoughts on “Tennis For Kids: It’s back for 2017!”

  1. Wow – you and Helen have certainly had a star studded experience in learning tennis! I can’t believe that she was chatting away to Greg Rusedski! It is such a versatile sport in that anyone can do it and this initiative is a great way to excite kids about tennis. I’m sure it will be a massive success.

    1. You’re right Nadine, it is such a versatile sport. #tennisForKids certainly worked as a way to get Helen into the sport. It’s great to see her enjoying the activity.

    1. You’re right Rebecca, I don’t recall tennis being payed at school whatsoever so this is a great way to introduce children to the sport.

  2. Anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle and gets kids away from screens also gets my vote too! My boy starts his first lesson today. Let’s hope he’ll enjoy it today. Looks like Helen is really good a tennis now. Well done!

      1. Thanks Su. It got shown to all Helen’s c;assmates at school last week and they were all very impressed.

    1. Ha ha, I won’t te;; Greg if I see him again! ANyway, I think #TennisForKids is amazing. Helen loved the lessons last year and she continues to play so that’s a success.

  3. Ha ha, I like to think I would recognise Greg Rusedski, I certainly would recognise Jason Donovan. We’re doing the lessons for the first time this year, can’t wait!

  4. Absolutely love that the LTA is running Tennis For Kids again, it’s such a superb initiative. Poppy loved it last year. What a brilliance experience Helen has had what with Annabel and Greg as coaches. Sounds like you need to brush up on your skills mind! :))

  5. LOL. I’m a huge tennis fan, and rather jealous you got to meet some of my heroes. My little one is starting his lessons for the first time next week, we both can’t wait! Just a great sport.

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