A COACH hoping to get youngsters back into the swing of tennis held two spring tournaments at a former tennis club.

Matthew Watson, from Lawford, began running ad hoc tennis holiday sessions at The Waterfront in Dovercourt last summer after a request from a parent.

The venue used to be the former Squirrels sports and social club and still has the tennis courts on the site.

He said: “From that point the tennis has grown.

“The waterfront owner Eddie Clifton has been great in letting us have the courts free of charge.

“I am running two regular groups for kids on Saturday afternoons and I am looking to grow the tennis in the local area by going into some local schools with the help of a tennis campaign called tennis for kids.

“The campaign offers kids six hours coaching, racket and balls along with a t-shirt all for £25.

“I think tennis is good socially and gets kids out in the fresh air.

“It’s a challenging sport to play and needs good hand, eye co-ordination.

“I played a lot when I was young and got lots of enjoyment out of it.”

For the Easter holiday, Matthew, a tennis coach at New Hall school in Chelmsford, arranged his first two tournaments at the site.

He said there is still a lot of stigma that tennis is expensive and elitist but he says he does not need to be.

He added: “One was called the team challenge, which had 19 kids competing from Harwich and Manningtree using all the courts on Thursday.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“On Saturday we ran the family tennis cup were parents took part with their children in a fun and friendly tournament - 22 parents and children got involved.

“It was sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association and Quorn, which provided prizes and give always for the children.”