The next Andy Murray or Johanna Konta may have taken their first steps towards tennis stardom at Gravesham Lawn Tennis Club (GLTC).
The club has held its first session of this year’s Tennis for Kids programme, launched by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) last year to mark Great Britain’s success at the Davis Cup.
Children who sign up on the LTA’s website get six free tennis lessons and a free racquet, with up to 20,000 newcomers set to take part across the country.
The course forms part of a busy period for GLTC, which is in the grounds of Gravesend Rugby Football Club in Donald Biggs Drive and has eight courts and a clubhouse.
Coach Angie Suleau said: “GLTC is a progressive club for all ages from mini and junior, to adult and vets. The facilities are in top condition and we are constantly looking to make further improvements. We have a comprehensive junior and adult programme supported by excellent qualified coaches and backed by the LTA.
“The new programmes we are running are sessions for juniors aged 10 to 16, one for adults and another for over-55s. These are all being run in collaboration with Gravesham council.”
Last year the club enjoyed a £12,000 investment to improve the playing surface, with most of the concrete courts re-sprayed and repainted in the hope of attracting a rise in membership.
The facilities have proved popular with all age groups, with the over-55s course — Rusty Racquets — running free of charge from 10am to 11am each Wednesday until May 24.
The course for 10 to 16-year-olds runs from 4.30pm to 6pm on Wednesdays, also until May 24, for £4 per session.
Mrs Suleau said: “Tennis is the only sport where children and adults can play together with a fair degree of equality, with kids generally on a faster development curve.
“Our club offers a serious side as the players who would like to compete can play in inter-club competitions both at adult and junior levels.
“The coaching scheme had been very successful with former junior members now making up 50% of the men’s first team.”
GLTC will be holding a free open day on Sunday, May 14, from 9am until 1pm as part of the LTA’s annual Great British Tennis Weekend. Anyone who signs up for membership on the day will be entitled to a discount.
To book a session go to lta.org.uk/gbtw and select Gravesham Lawn Tennis Club. To sign up for one of the club’s other courses, or for more information, call Angie on 07979 004814 or email email@example.com.