Merton gets on the ball

Merton Council has teamed up with the charity, Tennis For Free, to rejuvenate three courts at Joseph Hood recreation ground in Morden. The charity is also offering free coaching sessions at the courts on Saturdays this summer, by professional All England Club Coaches.

Free coaching sessions will take place on Saturday 5th and 12th June between 12 midday and 2pm, with different sessions taking place according to age groups. The sessions are as follows:

· 12 to 12.45pm ages 4 – 6
· 12.45pm to 1.30pm ages 6 – 8
· 1.30pm to 2pm ages 8-13

The free play and coaching will be available every Saturday after 12th June, between 10am and 12 midday.

Parents are encouraged to come along too, as they will be shown how to help children practice the skills they have learnt. There will be a limited number of balls and rackets for those that don’t have their own, and mini tennis will also be available on the grass areas beside the courts. There is no need to book the coaching, just turn up.

Merton’s Community Punishment Team has played a key part in giving a new lease of life to the courts and surrounding areas. Tennis for Free, co-founded by the comedian and local resident, Tony Hawks, campaigns to make tennis freely available to the public and has been working with local authorities across the country to improve public tennis courts. The community punishment team have been working with local suppliers to construct seating, mend fencing and renovate the whole area in general.

Mickey Spacey, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Community Engagement is responsible for sport strategy in the borough. He says:

” I’m really pleased that we are working with Tennis for Free to create more accessibility in sport locally. I hope that lots of children will take advantage of the free coaching and who knows, a future contender for the Wimbledon Championships could be out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered!”