unspecified-10Love Annabel’s jazz hands here. What a woman!

It’s not every day your kids get to play tennis with Former No 1 Annabel Croft but thanks to BritMums that’s exactly what happened back on the 5th of March.

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!

kids tennis lessons with Britmums and Annabel Croft

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.

Annabel Croft

Teaching kids tennis

learning to play tennis

Kids playing tennis

Engaging kids with tennis

Children Playing tennis at Britmums event

kids tennis lessons with Britmums

tennis lessons for kids

Annabel Croft teaches Oliver Broadbent tennis

tennis coach

tennis mentor

tennis juniors



Vicki Psarias' son Oliver learns to play tennis

Childrens Tennis Lessons

Playing tennis

Tennis lessons for kids with Britmums

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.

>Davis Cup

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!

Andy Murray winning the Davis Cup

Winning the Davis Cup

GB Tennis Team

Andy Murray wins the Davis Cup

…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

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49 Responses

  1. Matt @ Pickleball

    wow, what a cool experience for those kids to get to play tennis with her. Great photography!

  2. whineorwine

    Love this! I played tennis seriously as a kid and my 7 year old is having lessons now and I teach at her school. Great pics and what a day out!!!!! Totally envious!! Have just signed up to the waiting list for the free tennis course for your daughter!! Thanks loads xx

  3. John Adams

    Great post Vicki, some brilliant pics of your boys there! I found Annabel to be amazing with the kids and we had such a great day. Just trying ot get Helen’s lessons sorted now.

  4. Vanessa Cameron

    What a fantastic time you had, such a great blog! I play tennis several times a week as do my 3 boys, such a wonderful sport. Annabel is doing great things for junior tennis, fantastic to see the flag flying hi. We must get together and play !

  5. Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com

    Aaah – super day, super write-up! I’m getting excited about the tennis lessons now. My daughter’s being included too – I’m looking forward to comparing notes with you about how our little ones have enjoyed the sport, when we next meet up! xx

  6. Emma

    fab write up and photos! It looks like you all had a lot of fun:) I was always useless at tennis at school!

  7. becca farrelly

    Ahh I saw Nadine’s blog post about it the other day and thought it looked like an amazing experience! The kids (and adults!) looked like they loved it! I’m too young to know who Annabel is and I don’t know much about tennis but its something I would like Mia to have a go at when shes old enough! 🙂


  8. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, it’s marvelous when talented tennis players become ambassadors for their sport and take the time to encourage youngsters to play. For some of 10,000 children that are lucky enough to get free lessons it maybe a life changer, they may be naturally talented tennis players or they might just enjoy the sport and keep it up as a hobby and as a way of getting/staying fit.

    Either way it’s a brilliant project.


    • Honest Mum

      Absolutely Debbie, incredible initiative all-round and it was a joy to meet Annabel and see her passion first-hand x

  9. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    Wow, what an amazing experience! Your photos of your boys are fabulous. I’m terrible at tennis, but I never played as a child – perhaps if I’d been introduced earlier I might have been better (although given my track record at most sports, probably not!)

  10. Sarah

    I used to love playing badminton when I was a kid. Would be fun to get back into it again. Finding the time is hard though, isn’t it?! Hehe.

  11. Regina L. L. Wells

    It’s nice to see a return of the appreciation for tennis…especially in children. This looks like it was a lot of fun. Did the kids appreciate from whom they were learning?

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Regina, a wonderful day, Oliver who is a mature 6 did but Alexander is a little young, I’ll be sure to show Xander the post and vlog when he’s older and explain how incredible it was! x

  12. Charlotte Oates

    I’ll have to look into getting some of those lessons for my boys although they both lack any hand-eye coordination so I’m not holding out much hope about them becoming tennis stars but I suspect they’d enjoy themselves. It sounded like you had a really amazing day.

  13. Eb Gargano

    Wow – what a fab day out! Both my kids started tennis when they were about 4 and they absolutely love it! (Their Dad is tennis mad so I think it must be in the genes) It’s a lovely sport and they learn so much every week. Of course they are both convinced they will win Wimbledon one day!! It’s great that the LTA are doing such a big push this summer!

  14. Mess and Merlot

    Oh wow what a treat! I must click the link now as we have a tennis club 5 mins walk away so really have no excuse not to get involved!! ??? #BrillBlogPost

  15. John Adams

    What a “Brilliant Blog Post” if you’ll excuse the pun. It was such a great day and Anabel’s passion for the sport was soooooo infectious. Helen is so keen to take up the sport. Just got to get her started with the lessons now!

    • Honest Mum

      Thank you so much Jeremy, a wonderful day with the superb BritMums and British Tennis-the campaign is such a super way to get kids fit!

  16. One Messy Mama

    Wow, you have the most awesome adventures.. Professional tennis players, Driving cool cars and seeing Hugh Jackman.. What a blessed lady!

  17. Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb

    Sooooooooo envious of you getting to see the Davis Cup Vicki!! How fabulous! Plus the tennis for the kids is so great – these sorts of events should be held all the time everywhere for them, for ALL sports.

    Plus how does Annabel Croft look exactly the same as she did 30 years ago…?!! Great pictures :))

    Catherine x

    • Honest Mum

      Annabel does not age, amazing lady and the Davis Cup was so much fun. Love that this initiative is going to help so many children start tennis and hopefully begin a life-long love affair with the sport xx

  18. The DADventurer (Dave)

    Looks like you had a lot of fun – some pretty cool perks to blogging, eh?! Anything that aims to get more kids involved in sport is a big winner in my book. Good to see that Crofty is still in good shape 😉 (Sorry, that’ll prob get my comment deleted haha)

  19. Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas @Kahanka

    Wow! I saw Nadine’s photo on the Instagram this morning and recognised you, what a fantastic campaign to encourage kids to play tennis. You know me and encouraging my girls to do sports all the time, but they ahve never tried tennis, maybe this summer. We used to play tennis all the time when we lived in Sydney… miss it, but my wrists are always in pain, not very strong. Did you have a go too? xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks darling, you should get the girls free lessons. I’ve played from a young age and do try and play when we can but haven’t since Autumn. We’ll have to have a match Mirka xx

  20. TheBoyandMe

    It really was one of the best days ever and we all enjoyed it so much, especially seeing you again. It’s such a brilliant campaign and so important to get the children active and give them access to a sport they may not normally consider.

  21. JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    What a fab write up and some lovely photos here of the day. It was an amazing event to be part of and wasn’t Annabel lovely?! The kids all really seemed to enjoy the tennis and picked it up really fast!


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