One year of free tennis lessons is being launched at Beacon Park on Sunday 21 February from 2pm to 4pm.
National sports charity Tennis For Free has served up an ace for Lichfield and the surrounding area by investing in a 50-week programme of free tennis lessons at Beacon Park’s tennis courts.
The charity is working in partnership with Lichfield District Council, Lichfield Friary Tennis Club and the LTA to provide free coach-led tennis sessions for everyone, starting on Sunday 21 February between 2 and 4pm. Players don’t even need a racket as all the equipment will be provided free of charge.
Councillor Andy Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks at Lichfield District Council, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership to offer free tennis coaching to local people. It’s our ambition to get more local people taking part in healthy exercise and these coaching sessions will be a fantastic opportunity to find out how to play or brush up on your skills.
“To encourage even more people to play, we’ve made three of our Beacon Park tennis courts free to use after 1pm each day of the week. We hope plenty of people will take advantage of this offer and make good use of the free courts and coaching.”
Paul Bayliss, Lichfield Friary Tennis Club Professional Coach, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for members of the local community to try tennis for the first time – or dust off the cobwebs for those who’ve played before. Tennis for Free creates the opportunity for everyone to learn tennis, regardless of age and ability and exercise in the amazing surroundings of Beacon Park. All you need to do is register at www.beaconparktennis.co.uk and turn up. Everything is free.”
Tennis For Free is a registered charity founded by comedian Tony Hawks that aims to provide healthy, vibrant tennis communities on free public park tennis courts, creating new tennis players of all ages and backgrounds, and showing that tennis can be enjoyed by all.
Tennis For Free supporters include Judy Murray (mother of GB tennis No1 Andy, Federation Cup Captain and ex Strictly Come Dancing star), BBC tennis commentator Andrew Castle and multiple Grand Slam winner Pat Cash.
Tennis For Free CEO, Paul Jessop, said: “With support from our sponsors the LTA, we are partnering with local councils and tennis coaches and investing into 50 Tennis For Free park sites over the next three years, helping approximately 40,000 new people to experience tennis for the first time with no cost. As a Staffordshire man I’m delighted to have a new site in my home county and I’m very grateful to Lichfield District Council for making the Beacon Park courts available free of charge to encourage more participation in sport and exercise.”
A spokesperson for the LTA said: “We are very excited about the free activities being created for people to play tennis in Lichfield and Beacon Park is a really accessible venue in the heart of the community. Having good and attractive easy to access park facilities where you can play informally with your family and friends is really important to encouraging people to play and with Tennis for Free, Lichfield District Council and the Friary Tennis Club offering free sessions every Sunday you will be able to meet and find others of similar levels to play with. The LTA are working in partnership with Tennis for Free to develop a number of similar programmes across the country.”
You can also follow Tennis For Free on twitter @tennisforfree or contact local tennis coach and scheme leader Paul Bayliss via email on firstname.lastname@example.org