Tennis Mad Family Get Surprise Session With Wimbledon Semi-finalist
Posted: Fri, 31 May 2019 13:32
A tennis mad family from Derby got a surprise yesterday (Thursday) as the city's most famous tennis playing siblings joined them on court for a special coaching session as part of LTA's drive to get more families playing the game.
The Clarke's - Jay, a Wimbledon semi-finalist, Curtis also a professional tennis player, and sister Yasmin, a tennis coach, joined the Salmon family at Jay's local club – CURC Tennis Club. Dad Rob, Mum Beccy and children Phoebe (12), Stanley (9) and Ned (6) play tennis together at their local club at nearby Church Broughton and are huge fans of Jay.
The event in the city was part of the LTA's aim to provide families with the chance to try tennis for free, through its Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend initiative. CURC Tennis Club is one of a number of clubs and venues across the region to open their doors this summer to families, and encourage them to take up the sport by offering the free tennis sessions and a host of tennis related activities. Around 300 free sessions and activities are available locally.
Over 55,000 people across the UK took part in last year's Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekends with nearly half (44%) going on to join local clubs. This summer the LTA is hoping to significantly increase those numbers, and there are two national weekends taking place on July 20th / 21st and September 14th/15th where hundreds of events will be taking place at clubs and venues simultaneously.
Jay, who was encouraged to play tennis at a young age by his older brother and sister, said:
"Getting involved in tennis as a kid was the best thing I could do – I was super competitive so taking up the sport and being able to play with my sister and brother was great.
Seeing families like mine and the Salmon's pursuing a favourite sport together is fantastic, and really shows how accessible tennis is to all ages and levels"
"Tennis is definitely a sport for all ages and a sport for life – the family who plays together stays together, like mine!"
Stanley Salmon, who first met Jay at Wimbledon last year where he had a giant tennis balled signed by his hero, said of the surprise session.
"It was amazing to play with Jay, Curtis and Yas and I can't wait to tell my friends all about it! I love playing tennis and especially playing with my family. It's really fun when we all play together."
Clarke will be back in the East Midlands next week after being announced as part of the line up for the Nature Valley Open (Nottingham), which gets underway on Saturday 8th June. He will join a stellar group of players, which includes fellow British stars Dan Evans and Johanna Konta.
"Events like the Nature Valley Open are also vital for inspiring the next generation. I can't wait for the grass court season to get underway and get out on the court in Nottingham."
The national Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekends take place on July 20th/21st and September 14th/15th. To find your nearest participating club or venue and to sign up visit https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/OpenDays
The Nature Valley Open starts on Saturday 8th June. With Centre Court tickets available from just £10 for children and £21 for adults, don't miss this chance to see world-class tennis in Nottingham. For ticket purchases and more information head to www.lta.org.uk/naturevalleyopen.