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Despite having to mindfully force myself to do any kind of physical exercise – usually with internal promises of wine, crisps or wine with crisps – I think it’s really important to get the children as active as possible. Not only is it obviously great for their health (or so my personal trainer tells me) but I love the thought it’s teaching them other essential life skills: teamwork, perseverance, and a healthy dose of competitiveness.
I take advantage of the children’s after school sports club where attendance for both is mandatory (says I). We’re also members of our local David Lloyd health club where I regularly book the kids on to evening sports events (dance is a favourite!) and of course, we hit the pool for a splash around about once a week, too.
One sport I’ve been trying to get the children into recently is tennis. I had lessons as a kid and always loved playing; it’s one of those social sports I reckon, a bit like skiing, where it always does you good to have a certain level of proficiency.
They run children’s tennis lesson at David Lloyd but I wanted to give my two a little taster of the sport before I signed them up for anything intensive. Which is when I got put on to the Lawn Tennis Association, who offer six-week taster courses for kids who show an interest in tennis (or whose parents want them to!).
We kicked ours off recently by attending a taster session on the Great British Tennis Weekend at one of our local tennis clubs – the next one is happening on 22nd and 23rd July. Luring the children there with the promise of a BBQ (they weren’t keen on the idea of too much exercise on a Saturday) we set off ready to hit some balls around.
And you know what? I was really impressed with how much they enjoyed the session. I knew Elfie would get along well with it, because she’s an enthusiastic joiner-inner like her mum ;) But even Hux, who is traditionally not in to anything that involves participation, went from “I hate tennis” to “please can I go and play more?”
These sessions were ran by qualified teachers who really managed to get the kids excited in the game, and after I enjoyed a quick rally with Elfie the young guy looking after the children’s court got a wonderful little tournament going between the mini tennis players.
Surprisingly to me, after we broke for lunch both kids were keen and excited to get back to tennis – leaving me to a glass of wine in the sunshine while I watched them have fun. Win/win.
The Lawn Tennis Association run a fantastic free six-week coaching programme for children like mine who are showing a little interest in the sport. The course includes a tennis racket to use throughout the duration (and keep if you attend regularly!) and it’s a wonderful way for kids to learn the essentials that will have them falling in love with tennis.
Courses run throughout the summer and at different locations in the UK: you can search here to find out where and when your local programme is taking place.
Disclosure: I’m working with the Lawn Tennis Association and BritMums in a paid relationship, showcasing the FREE tennis sessions for children you can take up at your local club. The Tennis For Kids programme filled up quickly in 2017, but the LTA has since released limited additional courses so check https://clubspark.lta.