Tennis coaches encouraging more kids to try their sport at ‘mini’ sessions in Watton

Tennis coaches Chris Hansford and Fiona Oag want more youngsters to join their Mini Tennis Club in C

Tennis coaches Chris Hansford and Fiona Oag want more youngsters to join their Mini Tennis Club in Caston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Two children's sport coaches are encouraging more tots in their town to take up tennis following the smashing success of GB's Olympic and Wimbledon stars this summer.

Chris Hansford and Fiona Oag have been running Mini Tennis sessions in collaboration with Watton Tennis Club since June.

The couple, from Northacre near Caston, are both qualified Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) coaches and run the weekly sessions with head coach Sam Howlett.

With the new school term underway, Mr Hansford and Ms Oag are keen to encourage more children to sign up to the classes – and hope strong performances in the sport in 2016 from Brits Andy Murray and Johanna Konta will help to buoy enthusiasm for it.

Ms Oag, a qualified assistant coach, said the club is keen to take on children from all social and ethnic backgrounds.


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'We want to broaden it to the whole community, providing the chance for kids in the town to get active,' she said.

To mark the end of the summer term, a family fun session was held at Watton Sports Centre at which certificates of achievement were handed out to the club's young members.

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Mr Hansford, who has played tennis for decades, said: 'It is great to see how the children have progressed in this short time. I have seen their confidence grow week by week.

'Although our focus is on tennis, this is about getting children to love exercise, become more active in sports and for this to become a way of life.'

Mr Howlett and Mr Hansford also plan to liaise with local schools to introduce tennis to pupils, and to work with the sports centre with the aim of offering Mini Tennis sessions all year around using its indoor facilities.

Mini Tennis sessions are held at the sports centre on Sunday mornings. For more information contact chrishansford1@btinternet.com

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