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Schools to offer free coaching

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

FREE coaching is being offered to eight-year-olds and younger pupils at 11 Newcastle primary schools, as part of a massive drive by Basford Tennis Club to attract young players. The club has received a £2,000 (two thousand pounds) cash injection from Tennis Staffordshire and further backing from the School Sports Partnership to set up links with local schools. Coach Mike Armstrong is travelling to the schools to deliver a series of free taster sessions to youngsters from Year One to Year Three. Those who become hooked on tennis will be encouraged to take part in further free weekly coaching, which gets underway this month at Basford.

"I think this is a really good way of promoting tennis. Apart from the coaching, we will also hold a Mini Red tournament and the winners will go through to a grand county final.

"I am hoping that as I get round to visiting more schools, the numbers attending our Friday evening sessions will increase, so that eventually up to 70 children will be taking part. We would then be looking to create a couple of extra sessions," said Armstrong. Meanwhile Armstrong, his brother Paul and colleague Tom Ellis are re-launching another free tennis initiative in Newcastle this weekend. The weekly training on courts at Westlands Sports Ground is open to all junior age groups, from Mini Tennis Red through to those playing full court tennis.

"You can't say much is free these days and yet here we are offering two hours of coaching for free each week, I think it's the perfect way of beating the credit crunch," said Armstrong.

For more information, telephone Mike Armstrong on (07908) 221420.

Sentinel, 21 April 2009
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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