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Basford to use cash windfall for talent search

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

BASFORD is launching a recruitment drive after landing a �£1,000 cash injection from Tennis Staffordshire. The club is targeting North Staffs schools and grass roots players to attract new members and discover raw talent. Half of the money has been earmarked for developing performance players, while the rest will be used to promote tennis in schools and attract beginners. "Our goal is to promote tennis for all, as we want to be seen as a family club," said Basford coach Mike Armstrong. "I will be visiting local schools to give children in the area a taste of what tennis is all about and hopefully some of them will get hooked on it and want to continue playing."

The club has set aside a special talent identification day next month for youngsters up to age of 11, when a year's membership and free coaching are up for grabs. Armstrong said: "We are not only looking for children who have played tennis before and think they have got what it takes. "We are also looking for those who have never picked up a racket, but might have something special. "Tennis has often been seen as a sport for those children who are not chosen for the football team or cricket team. "We are really searching for that hidden talent before it is either lost to other sports or lost altogether. "Our talent ID day is not just about racket skills. "We are interested in getting some really sporty children who have great agility, balance and co-ordination, which is something that can be transferred between different sports."

Between eight and 10 children will be picked to join a performance course with specialist coaching, as well as free membership at Basford for one year. Meanwhile, the club has drawn up a summer tournament programme for all ages, culminating in the Total Performance Junior Open in August.

Sentinel, 08 May 2007
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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