Bid to increase tennis take-up for young aces

tennis tournament at Garstang academy
tennis tournament at Garstang academy
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Game, set and let’s make it a regular fixture!

An ‘anyone for tennis?’ initiative is set to sweep local junior schools if the organisers of a new inter-schools tournament have their way.

The tournament was recently held on the courts at Garstang Academy. It was sponsored by local business Mike’s Sports World and aimed to give the district’s Year Six pupils a chance to play more tennis, compete for a glittering cup, get a taste for tennis and enjoy more sport.

Some of the players taking part had never played tennis before. Among them Sophie Fowler, 11, from Garstang St Thomas’s school, proved her ability by getting through to the semi-finals.

But it was twins Alicia and Liam Smith, aged 10. from St Michael’s on Wyre school, who clinched the top titles.

Harry Grundy, nine, from Garstang County Primary School was also a runner-up.

Event organiser Stan Wade from St Michael’s on Wyre School thanked all who had supported and helped organise the event, including Academy staff, and predicted it was just a start. Having enthused local Year Six pupils about tennis it was hoped to introduce younger age groups to the game.

He said: “It’s the first time we’ve run an under-11s tournament and it’s going to be annual one. The whole purpose is to improve the profile of tennis in the area.”

Stan said it was further hoped to encourage schools to enable more tennis coaching to be provided - for example in lunch hours at reasonable costs.

Comparing the way American and Australian pupils with sporting talent are nurtured, he stressed that Britain will have a better chance of producing sporting stars if it identifies and builds on talent at an early age.