We are very lucky that a few years ago a tennis club opened up close to us, using some tennis courts that belong to a local school. There are a lot of clubs in the city , in fact Birmingham, where we live, was the birthplace of lawn tennis. Birmingham’s leafy Edgbaston suburb boasts the world’s oldest surviving tennis club, known locally as the Archery, and also the Priory which hosts professional tournaments. H initially had the coaches come into his school to teach and then he started going to tennis club soon after. At the moment H just does tennis and swimming for sports and he’s picked tennis out above football and rugby, which he’d previously tried.
I’m glad he picked out tennis because it was my favourite sport growing up. I spent a lot of time practising, but was never that good, probably because I didn’t get any coaching to speak of at school. At university I had some lessons with a proper coach and quickly found I improved. For me the great thing about tennis is that it is so easy to play in terms of equipment and there are so many places you can play it. I loved just knocking up a ball against a wall and my school had the best wall for this. Even at home we had a reasonable amount of space as long as I didn’t go overboard with my shots. I was often in the park playing too either with our neighbours or with a friend from school. It’s a very sociable sport I always think as it’s great for a small group of friends to play together.
We went down to H’s tennis club last weekend to take part in the Great British Tennis Weekend. I thought I’d be playing with H, but I got talked into playing with adults and ended up working quite hard. To begin with I was badly out of practice, but by the end of the session I’d started hitting my backhand again which was a source of much satisfaction. I’m thinking about taking tennis up again myself and it would be fun if we could play together as a family. There are two more Great British Tennis Weekends to come on 13 & 14 June and 1 & 2 August, so I’d encourage you to get involved.