Local Tennis Centre serves up an ace with open day

A local tennis centre at the University of Warwick is giving locals an opportunity to train like a tennis pro during a special open day in honour of one of their junior players’ achievements.

To mark Felix Gill’s qualification to the Boys’ Singles event at the French Open, the University of Warwick Tennis Centre in Coventry, is hosting a tennis taster day open to people of all ages and abilities on Saturday 10th October, from 9am-1pm.

Felix, 18, will be taking part in his second Grand Slam tournament this year, after competing in the Australian Open back in January. The exciting prospect currently trains at the tennis centre, coached by the University’s renowned Performance Academy Head Coach, Gary Naughton.

With its wealth of high-level coaches, who will be available on the day, the tennis centre team is hoping to encourage young and old alike to pick up a racket and inspire the next generation of British players.

The day will kick off with an hour-long mini tennis taster session aimed at 5-10 year-olds. Featuring a mix of tennis activities, from competition, drills, games and racquet skills exercises, the session will be followed by a cardio-based tennis drill session for adults of all level.

From 11am, the professional coaching team at the Tennis Centre will be on hand to offer tips and personalised advice to those looking to develop their game, while the last hour of the event will be dedicated to a family cardio tennis session, to get children and parents moving together with tennis-based drills.

Falling on World Mental Health Day, the event is accessible to players of all age, size and experience. Tennis is a great all-round way to keep in shape by helping to develop upper and lower body strength, as well as cardio. In addition to its physical benefits, tennis has been linked to higher confidence and happiness levels, with 63% of tennis players reporting they felt less isolated*, a key component of this year’s World Mental Health Day.

Brad Rowbottom, tennis manager at the University of Warwick Tennis Centre, said: “Seeing young British athletes reaching their full potential and qualifying for high-level tournaments is always an incredible feeling, but even more so when they do it wearing our colours, so I know everyone here at the junior performance academy will be standing behind Felix. What better way to celebrate his achievements than to offer local people an opportunity to give tennis a go?

“This is set to be an exciting open day and our experienced team will be on hand to ensure everyone gets the most out of it, no matter their experience. We’re hoping to inspire local people to try something new, get moving and maybe even enjoy a newfound passion – we’re convinced the next Andy Murray and Johanna Konta are here in Warwickshire, and we can’t wait to meet them!”

Places are limited to the event, and residents are being encouraged to sign up to the taster to avoid disappointment. To sign up, visit warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/events/tennis-centre-open-day

To allow visitors to keep active safely, the University of Warwick Tennis Centre has implemented a number of measures, including thorough new cleaning protocols, continuous scheduled sanitation of surfaces and equipment, while adding a number of hand and equipment sanitising stations throughout the centre. Clear signage and floor stickers have been added to mark the courts’ entry and exit points and help visitors practice social distancing; the number of people allowed in certain areas, including the viewing gallery and changing room, will also be restricted.

To find out more about a tennis membership at the facility, which includes unlimited access to the world-class Sports and Wellness Hub, visit warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/active/tennis/plus

*According to a Tennis Foundation study: tennisfoundation.org.uk/research-shows-tennis-positive-impact-mental-health/