Junior tennis in Saxmundham gets Covid-19 restart boost as club awarded £1.8k for schools' outreach
Updated: Oct 22
Saxmundham Tennis Club, 21 October 2021
Young people in East Suffolk now have a great opportunity to pick up a racket and start playing tennis again for free, thanks to a local tennis club securing a Covid-19 restart grant worth £1.8k.
Saxmundham Tennis Club was awarded the kick-start grant to support free tennis lessons for local schoolchildren in the area, both in-school and at after-school clubs.
The fund will pay for more than 60 hours’ free tennis lessons for children in two primary and two secondary schools in the East Suffolk region – lessons that have been on hold since the first lockdown.
Chris Poupard, Chairman of Saxmundham Tennis Club, said: “As a local club, we feel it is vitally important to re-establish these links with local schools, with the primary aim of getting schoolchildren active again after what has been a very sedentary lifestyle for the last 18 months – even among those participants that were highly active beforehand.
"We’re delighted to provide these sessions for local children, in school time and after school.”
Councillor Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said: “This project is a great example of the how the Community Restart Programme enables communities across the East Suffolk to ‘restart’ and support local residents of all ages.
"The impact of Covid-19 has been far reaching for many local community and voluntary groups and it’s really great that this project, which is a real partnership between the County and District Councils and Community Action Suffolk, can help them get back on their feet and continue to deliver essential services to improve the lives of our residents.”
Matthew Last, LTA-Accredited Head Coach of Saxmundham Tennis Club, who will deliver the free sessions for participants, said: “Tennis is a fantastic sport for junior players with numerous benefits, and it’s also a hugely enjoyable and fun game to play.
“It requires explosive movements of physical activity over a long period of time, helping to improve both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, as well requiring a mixture of strength, speed, balance, power and flexibility. It’s also very sociable, which is another important factor that many children have missed out on during periods of isolation during lockdowns over the last 18 months.
"From previous experience, many of the schoolchildren who take part go on to join the club and remain members for years to come.”
Sessions will get underway from December 2021 and run until July 2022.
About Saxmundham Tennis Club
Winner of the LTA Suffolk County Tennis Club of the Year 2019-20, Saxmundham Tennis Club welcomes new members alongside pay-as-you-go coaching and junior sessions, for all ages and abilities and has more than 130 members, juniors, adults, and seniors. It is also one of the oldest clubs in England, and in 1883 played host to the first Suffolk Tennis Championships. The club offers a weekly programme of coaching sessions and social play for all members, from the popular LTS Youth Programme for 5- to 18-year-olds, to pay-as-you-go Cardio Tennis keep fit sessions, open to all. Proud to be an accessible and inclusive club, junior membership at Sax costs only £10 a year. For more information visit: www.saxtennis.co.uk
About the Suffolk Community Restart Grant
The Suffolk Community Restart fund, funded through Suffolk County Council and delivered through Community Action Suffolk and the District Councils in Suffolk, is a new grant fund. East Suffolk Council has received £75,000 to offer voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups a grant to help them to ‘restart’ by resuming their previous activities safely and/or to support them to transition to new ways of working. More information at: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants-and-funding/suffolk-community-restart-grant