Shropshire Star

Age is no barrier as charity unveils walking tennis sessions

As excitement mounts around this year’s upcoming Wimbledon Championships, tennis of a slightly different variety is very much on the minds of a local charity.

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Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin is putting a call out to older tennis players – 55 or over – to join new walking tennis sessions to be held in Shrewsbury and Market Drayton, beginning this July.

“This will be a low impact and fun activity that will benefit your physical and your mental health,” said Emma Wilde, wellbeing services manager at the charity.

The strawberries and cream launch of the sessions in Shrewsbury will be on Tuesday, July 9, from 10am to 11am, followed by light refreshments.

Sessions will then be weekly at The Shrewsbury Club, Sundorne, at a cost of £4.

Then there will be another strawberries and cream launch, this time for the Market Drayton sessions, on Monday, July 15, at Greenfields Lane, Market Drayton, 2.30pm to 3.30pm – again at a cost of £4.

The new initiative is part of a programme being rolled out in communities across England over the next two years – and is being launched with funding from the Lawn Tennis Association’s Tennis Foundation.

“We’re extremely grateful to both the Tennis Foundation and the national Age UK for funding this project,” said Emma.

The walking version of the much-loved sport is designed to be a gentle and inclusive game and provides a supportive environment for older people of all abilities.

The rules of the game include no running or jumping, allowing the ball to bounce twice and the option to play on a smaller court with modified equipment.

“Walking tennis provides a fantastic way to stay active while enjoying the social benefits of being part of a tennis community,” said a Tennis Foundation spokesperson. “The sessions are open to everyone, for those who have a backhand like Novak Djokovic or can hit a serve as fast as Serena Williams, as well as those who’ve never played before, or anyone who is simply seeking a more relaxed pace of play! So why not come along and give it a go?”

For more information, people can contact the charity on 01743 233 123 or email enquiries@ageukstw.org.uk or visit ageukshropshireandtelford.org.uk.