Sports charity serves up free tennis sessions

15th July 2019

With the nation gripped by Wimbledon, national sports charity ‘Tennis For Free’ has served up an ace for Rotherham by investing in a programme of free tennis sessions at Clifton Park.

They are investing in a programme of free tennis sessions at Clifton Park, starting on Sunday 14 July.

In an exciting partnership with Rotherham Council and the LTA, Tennis For Free will provide free coach-led tennis sessions for all the family for one year as part of its aim to use tennis to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of all members of the community across the UK.

With over 100 schemes across the UK, Clifton Park is one of several similar schemes in the North of England and will be every Sunday between 10am – 11.30am. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need a racquet or a ball as all equipment is provided free of charge.

Lead scheme organiser Jake Walker said: “I am very excited to welcome Tennis For Free to Rotherham. The Clifton Park tennis courts are brand new and the scheme is a fantastic opportunity for the local community to try tennis for either the first time, or to dust off the cobwebs after a time away from the sport. It’s a fun, friendly and entertaining free weekly event where you’ll make new friends and benefit from regular exercise. There is no catch, as the name suggests, everything is free.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner, Greener, Communities, Cllr Sarah Allen, said: “As a Council, we are committed to encouraging everyone to be more active and adopt a healthier lifestyle. These sessions will provide more opportunities for more people to access sport, enhance physical and mental well-being and re-energise people of all ages. And best of all, whether you’ve never picked up a racquet or you are a seasoned regular, the Tennis For Free sessions provide qualified coaches and all equipment for free.”

Tennis For Free CEO Paul Jessop said: “We are changing the image of tennis to a sport for all by removing the cost barrier so that members of all communities can play and benefit physically, mentally and socially. Clifton Park is one of hundreds of schemes we are opening across the UK over the next five years as part of our plan to get more people playing this wonderful sport. We have created specially designed programmes to welcome families, the old and the young, of any ability and the beauty is that each session is led by qualified tennis coaches who will ensure people develop at their own pace.

“But it’s not just about the playing. We have seen at our other schemes that small friendly community groups grow. This social cohesion is great to see especially for those who may not think tennis is for them but is for another member of their family. People can still stay involved and help run the schemes. We are always looking for local volunteers to grow the game, indeed some of our most successful and sustainable schemes across the UK have the coaches supported by a team of volunteers who organise further events which all contributes towards everyone’s well-being.”

Paul Sheard from the LTA said: “We are very excited about the free activities being created for people to play tennis in Rotherham through the Tennis for Free programme, and Clifton is a really accessible park in the heart of the community. Having good local easy to access park facilities where you can play informally with your family and friends is really important to encourage people to play. But Tennis For Free is also about the ability to meet new people and develop friendships, taking regular exercise and simply having fun. It isn’t about finding the next Andy Murray, but about making tennis accessible to all.”

Sign up for Tennis For Free at Clifton Park every Sunday from 10am to 11.30am at:

Sign up for Tennis for Free