A sports charity will be serving up free tennis sessions in Widnes as part of national programme to improve physical and mental wellbeing across the UK.

National sports charity ‘Tennis For Free’ has invested in a programme of free tennis sessions at the Victoria Park tennis courts, Birchfield Road, Widnes WA8 7SU, starting on Saturday 29 June, 10-11:30am.

In a partnership with Halton 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, Victoria Park is one of several similar schemes in the North West and will be every Saturday between 10-11:30am.

Everyone is welcome, you don’t need a racquet or a ball as all equipment is provided free of charge. Sign up for Tennis For Free Victoria Park now at www.tennisforfree.com

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.

“Victoria 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.”

Allison Lewis from the LTA said: “We are very excited about the free activities being created for people to play tennis in Widnes through the Tennis for Free programme, and Victoria Park is a really accessible park in the heart of the community.

“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.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Sport, Cllr Phil Harris, said: “Whether you’ve never picked up a racquet or are a seasoned regular there’s no excuse not to visit the Tennis for Free sessions. Qualified coaches, all equipment provided…all for free. These sessions will benefit those with limited access to sport, enhance physical and mental well-being and re-energise people of all ages.”

Sign up for Tennis For Free at Victoria Park every Saturday from 10-11:30am at www.tennisforfree.com You can also follow Tennis For Free on Twitter and Facebook @tennisforfree

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