Can Davis Cup inspire Chichester's tennis kids?

Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club are taking part in the Lawn Tennis Association's biggest-ever grass-roots programme for young players.

Justin Pollard at the training session
Justin Pollard at the training session

The Tennis for Kids programme is a new initiative to capitalise on Great Britain’s achievement of winning the Davis Cup for the first time since 1937 and to try to enthuse the next generation to take up the game.

The aim is to motivate 10,000 children all across the country to play tennis for the first time. Focus will be on developing basic skills such as agility, balance and co-ordination.

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In addition to six free one-hour lessons, there will also be free tennis racquets given to youngsters who complete the course.

The programme is aimed at five to eight-year-olds who are not members of an LTA-affiliated club and have not picked up a tennis racquet before.

The scheme is being overseen nationally by Davis Cup captain Leon Smith and locally by Chichester Tennis Academy head coach Justin Pollard.

Pollard posted a video application to the LTA and was delighted to be one of 1,000 coaches nationally selected to deliver the Kids for Tennis programme.

All participating coaches have had intensive training days and are set to make this one of the best offers the LTA has ever designed for children.

Pollard said: “The training day was good fun and was delivered with great enthusiasm by the LTA. There were boundless new drills and it was inspiring to meet both Leon Smith and Anne Keothavong who are backing the programme.”

Numbers are limited and the programme begins in Chichester on Monday, June 6.

Pollard said: “I have played tennis for many years and the Tennis for Kids initiative is extremely exciting. It offers children who are completely new to the sport an easy way to start getting involved. I really hope it encourages parents to sign up their children.”

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