6:00pm Friday 27th June 2014
By Mark McKay
WHILE millions of people will be watching to see if Andy Murray can repeat his Wimbledon success, tennis clubs in Oxfordshire are hoping to show the benefits of the sport.
Free games, classes and coaching will take place on courts across this weekend as part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Great British Tennis Weekend.
David Reeve, Oxfordshire’s tennis participation manager for the LTA, said: “The idea is to demonstrate to people how tennis is accessible and give them the chance to play whatever their ability or standard.
“Our big mission statement is to get more people playing, more often.
“It is a great sport and great fun. The campaign is an idea to demonstrate it can be easier to pick up than people think.”.
Mr Reeve said he hoped the events would dispel misconceptions of tennis being an expensive, middle-class sport.
He said: “I don’t think it is a middle-class sport and it is affordable to play.
“People feel it’s expensive but club memberships are not that high, it’s very good value and lots of clubs are offering promotions.”
The events this weekend will take place as world-class players are battling it out on courts at Wimbledon.
It is hoped watching stars like Andy Murray at the tournament will motivate people to take up the game.
Mr Reeve said: “People like Andy Murray and Tim Henman will inspire people to play.
“There’s Wimbledon on the television at the moment and if people look at those guys and see they what can achieve then they want to have a go.
“People will find that they enjoy it and if they have an ability for it then there are plenty of competitive opportunities.”
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