Andy Murray’s Former Coach Serves Up ‘Tennis On The Thames’ For Youngsters

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As Wimbledon begins in earnest, David Lloyd Leisure and Andy Murray’s former coach, Mark Petchey, served up a historical moment by bringing tennis to the Thames for the first time on Saturday, June 27th.

Mark Petchy

Mark Petchy

Kids want to be inspired and if you can put a racquet in their hand, then they can see for themselves that they are good at it.

The pop-up coaching clinic, which aims to encourage more children to take up tennis, saw several hundred youngsters and adults pick up a racquet at London’s South Bank.

The clinic, hosted by Mark, was the final leg of a nationwide, pre-Wimbledon tour by the UK’s leading tennis provider, David Lloyd Leisure, which took in primary schools in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

Mark, who is also a Sky Sports tennis commentator, said: “David Lloyd Leisure are all about participation in tennis and one of the ways you do that is by getting kids involved and inspired. On this pop-up coaching tour, we have seen incredible enthusiasm.

“Kids want to be inspired and if you can put a racquet in their hand, then they can see for themselves that they are good at it. A lot of children have been surprised by their own ability, so hopefully the follow-through from these events will continue in the long run.

“Even if they aren’t the next Andy Murray or Laura Robson, one thing tennis does is keep you fit and that’s obviously a huge advantage of the sport and something that parents should also encourage.”

The nationwide clinics featured the innovative REBOwall, which was predominantly designed for school playgrounds too small for a full-sized tennis court. It includes an adjustable rebound surface, which is angled to give a natural flight to the ball.

Mark demonstrated the REBOwall during the London clinic, supported by tennis coaches from David Lloyd Clubs Raynes Park and Finchley, who also showcased David Lloyd Leisure’s Tennis All Stars programme which sees 12,500 youngsters across the country playing tennis each week.

David Lloyd Leisure group racquets manager, David Bulgin, said: “This roadshow with Mark provides a snapshot of what we do on a regular basis in our clubs - whether children end up on our All Stars programme or playing in a park, at least we’ve got them into the sport. We have a big role to play in encouraging kids to get active.”

David Lloyd Leisure’s summer tennis drive includes hosting the LTA’s Great British Tennis Weekend 2015, with the final weekend on August 1-2. The group has also launched the LTA initiative, Tennis Tuesdays, at its racquets clubs in the London, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff areas to inspire more women to get on court to improve their game, while keeping fit, having fun and meeting like-minded people.

David Lloyd Leisure and First News are teaming up to offer all schools across the UK the opportunity to win the £5000-worth REBOwall after its tour. To enter the competition and for further information, visit http://www.firstnews.co.uk/competitions .

To watch Mark’s journey on the tour click on the following links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0nj0bzvPvQ – Birmingham
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKLIsd3EiGI – Manchester
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRqiQqfXWho – Glasgow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8avTDnP9R3o - London

PR & Media Enquiries

If you’d like to receive photography or video content from all four events, please contact Hanisa North at Henman Communications on +44 7795250420 | hanisa(at)henmancom(dot)com or Richard Henman on +44 7810448782 | rph(at)henmancom(dot)com.

About David Lloyd Leisure Group

The David Lloyd Leisure Group operates 81 clubs in the UK and a further ten clubs across Europe, comprising David Lloyd Clubs, Harbour Clubs and Next Generation, plus the new high street concept, David Lloyd Studio.

It has approximately 450,000 members and employs 6,000 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of more than 1,800, while it contracts the services of more than 400 tennis professionals.

Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has more than 150 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers more than 10,000 exercise classes per week. Every week, 20,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure and 12,500 learn to play tennis. Its racquets facilities are unparalleled with 800 tennis courts as well as 180 badminton courts and 140 squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, créches, nurseries and special sports shops.

About Mark Petchey

Mark Petchey is a former British No. 1 tennis player, who turned professional in 1988. The right-hander won one doubles title (Nottingham, 1996) in his career, reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 80 in August 1994 and won three Challenger events. He spent 10 years as a professional player and competed at The Championships, Wimbledon from 1988-1998. His best Grand Slam performance was reaching the Third Round at Wimbledon in 1997 where he lost to Boris Becker. Petchey was also coach to Andy Murray, whom he coached to the top 50 in the world.

About REBOwall

Installed in less than a day, the REBOwall can be put up anywhere - they can even be easily fitted on indoor courts. REBOwall is especially perfect for locations where a full-size tennis court is impossible.The adjustable rebound ‘face’ is angled, which gives a realistic and natural flight to the rebounded ball - completely different to a traditional brick wall. The REBOwall is versatile, multi-functional and successfully used for coaching groups and individuals, like ‘cardio-tennis’ fitness sessions or simply for players who want to practise on their own. Players can hit over 2000 shots/hour with just one ball. REBOwall is excellent for increasing fitness. You get a great workout - plus you can easily burn more than 500 calories per hour. REBOwall has been a supplier to both the LTA and ITF (International Tennis Federation) at tennis events this year designed to increase participation levels in tennis. Further information - http://www.rebowall.com

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