THREE clubs in Oxfordshire are offering free play to the public as the second Great British Tennis Weekend gets under way tomorrow.

Oxford’s David Lloyd Club (2-5) host free sessions on both days, with Florence Park (12-4), on Saturday, and Oxford Sports (2-4.30) on Sunday, also taking part.

However, a week later is the big weekend in Oxfordshire, with 20 clubs at present signed up.

Players of all standards are encouraged to turn up, particularly families, whose children can be shown the basics by the coaches present, while the adults – if they do not feel the need for help – can play on adjoining courts.

I was invited to one such session at Abingdon’s White Horse Tennis & Leisure centre with my seven-year-old daughter Ruby, as well as friend Paul Vanstone and his ten-year-old, Grace.

Neither girl had played tennis before and were put through their paces by coach Josh Dawson.

After a fairly intensive hour of play, both had grown enormously in confidence and were able to hold short rallies.

And that, says Oxfordshire Lawn Tennis Association chairman Nicky Maskens, is exactly the idea of the weekends.

“With Wimbledon just round the corner, it was great to have Mark, Paul and their daughters out on court hitting some balls and getting tips,” she said.

“We hope everyone in Oxfordshire will do likewise this summer. The Great British Tennis Weekends give them the chance.”


Saturday 28th: David Lloyd Oxford, Abingdon White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Banbury West End, Chipping Norton Leisure Centre, Colston, Letcombe, Thame.

Sunday 29th: David Lloyd Oxford, Abingdon White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre, Oxford Sports, Abingdon, Appleton with Eaton, Bicester, Cholsey, Cropredy, Kings Sutton, North Oxford, Portcullis, Wantage, Witney, Woodstock, Wychwoods.

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