Tennis coaching serves top talent

PUBLISHED: 18:01 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

BATCHWOOD Tennis Centre is stepping up the search to net the top talent for the future in local schools. The centre, provided by St Albans City & District Council and managed in partnership with Leisure Connection, has been playing a key role

BATCHWOOD Tennis Centre is stepping up the search to net the top talent for the future in local schools.

The centre, provided by St Albans City & District Council and managed in partnership with Leisure Connection, has been playing a key role in the Schools Programme in conjunction with the Hertfordshire Lawn Tennis Association, using the Government backed Sportsmatch funding to offer free tennis coaching to all four-to-six year olds in the district.

Batchwood coaches are working with more than 2,000 children and have visited 40 schools to invite them to Family Tennis Festivals at Batchwood. Every child attending the festivals will be assessed and offered a place on the Tennis Programme.

In recent years the development programme has ensured Batchwood has had the largest number of mini tennis players from any centre across the East of England achieving Regional status. Batchwood Tennis Centre Coach, Jon Meredith, said: "The team has worked extremely hard to get these young players on the right road to future success. National tennis is the goal for these children and all are having fun and working really hard to achieve that. It is also great that they are training next to current National juniors at Batchwood to see how hard they work and what it means to be a Batchwood player."

Councillor Sheila Burton, Portfolio Holder for Sport and Healthy Living, at St Albans City and District Council, said: "I'm sure all potential tennis players will have been inspired by seeing Laura Robson win junior Wimbledon this year. This exciting tennis programme is designed to attract youngsters into trying out the game."

Batchwood duo Lewis Barnes and James Marselek reached the quarter finals of the junior doubles at Wimbledon. Georgie Walker, aged nine, has been selected to play for Great Britain this month. Charlie Broom has been selected for the Under 10s GB boys squad.

Batchwood Tennis Centre is one of the Lawn Tennis Association's flagship High Performance Tennis Centres with a track record of producing National and International Junior Tennis players.

If you would like more information on the development work taking place at Batchwood or have a child between the ages of four and six who would like to try tennis for the first time, head to Batchwood on Sunday, July 13, between 1pm and 3pm or contact schools development officer Neale Proud on 07971 963472 or email nealeproud@batchwoodtennis.co.uk

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