Arriving in sunny Birmingham for the weekend, we spent the day with the Lawn Tennis Association who are encouraging an epic 10,000 (!) kids in the UK to take up the sport this summer by giving away free lessons.
Meeting up with super bloggers Jen, co founder of BritMums, Becky of Baby Budgeting, Nell of Pigeon Pair and Me, John from Dad Blog UK, BritMums editor and blogger at Juggle Mum, Nadine and The Boy and Me-we excitedly watched as our children got stuck into their tennis lesson with Annabel and picked up skills and confidence as they went!
Go mini Team GB!
My own children had played tennis before but some in the group hadn’t and it was wonderful to see their faces light up and the joy playing tennis together brought them.
Annabel’s passion for the sport was infectious and has inspired me to get back on the court again after not playing since last Autumn (it’s so cold in the UK but I need to brave the weather and get playing)!
These images are like a tennis flick book. I heart them all.
While the kids played, we bloggers transitioned to a round table discussion with Annabel who shared her phenomenal journey from a school girl on holiday who fell for tennis aged 9 to a pro who won the Wimbledon and Australian Open girls’ tournaments in 1984, before smashing the Virginia Slims of San Diego tournament in 1985 and achieving a world ranking of 21! Annabel played for Great Britain in the Fed Cup in 1985 and 1986 and in the Wightman Cup from 1983 to 1986.
Annabel advised children as young as 3 can start tennis, as my own son Xander has, and encouraged everyone to give the game a go.
I loved listening to her love of the game- ‘it’s an artistic, graceful sport…dancers hitting the ball (each player) has very different personal styles’.
Listening to Annabel speak about the Davis Cup, got us ready for the event to come. ‘Wimbledon has the history and the heritage, the Davis Cup is a team event with real noise and electricity about it’.
And boy did it! With drums playing and lights flashing to warm up the ground and later, welcome the players (Andy and Jamie Murray no less) the game was captivating from start to end.
With super court side seats (we could practically smell Andy’s sweat (steady on now) the atmosphere was truly electric with chanting from the crowds and pop hits pumping which got us out of our seats and booty shaking (or maybe that was just me?!).
The Davis Cup is basically XFactor meets Wimbledon.
And while Peter and I were transfixed from the off, the kids became a little restless as the time rolled on.
Xander, 3, lasted 45 minutes before setting off to Sealife with Daddy and Oliver became anxious to leave and eat right before I could watch the warrior brothers beat Japan.
I would love to attend again (probably without the little ones) and preferably with my own drum please.
And even though we missed the celebration, GB did us all proud!
…Both my own mini Murrays 😉 love tennis and like myself and my Mum before me, I hope they keep playing well into adulthood and who knows, make it pro one day #nopressure.
My Mum likes to remind me of the story of my very first tennis lesson aged 5. After the first session I apparently I turned to my tennis instructor and asked how long it would take me to make it to Wimbledon! Hilarious. That drive to do my best has been there from the start, people.
I can see that sheer ambition and tenacity in my eldest son too.
However, it is important to include that the greatest lessons I have learnt in my 35 years and hope to pass onto him is the necessity of failure and embracing failure in all its character-building importance. It is only by learning from failure that you can succeed.
Tennis is a wonderful, uplifting and healthy way to learn from your mistakes, whatever age you are.
Go get fit doing something incredibly fun!
What an superb day for us all. Thank you BritMums and thank you to British Tennis.
Don’t miss my vlog of the day:
The LTA has made this brilliant short video for #TennisForKids to get you all inspired too.
This post is part of the #TennisForKids campaign with BritMums, sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association in partnership with Highland Spring. You can sign up now for LTA’s FREE tennis lessons for your child – find out more here www.lta.org.uk/tennisforkids