MP gets into Wimbledon spirit at Westminster

June 21, 2013 2:46 PM

A keen tennis player, Tom Brake MP, got a taste of Wimbledon yesterday when he met with school children who have taken part in a programme run by the Tennis Foundation and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Carshalton and Wallington MP spent an hour with kids who have benefited from the Aegon Schools Tennis Programme. The Programme has delivered free teacher training, resources and equipment to local schools including St Philomena's Catholic High School for Girls, Carshalton Boys Sports College, Camden Junior School and Tweeddale Primary School.

Tom said: "It was great to see so many kids playing tennis and having fun. I'm a huge tennis fan and believe it's a great way to exercise in an easy, fun and interactive way. There is a reason why the sport is sometimes described as "chess in motion"!"

"I would encourage any local schools that are not yet benefiting from the programme to sign up and help make tennis a big hit with our children."

Over 100 children took part in the event at New Palace Yard held on Wednesday 19 June. There was also a special appearance from the former British number 1, Greg Rusedski and Johanna Konta, British Female number 3. The afternoon was organised to promote tennis as a fun sport for people of all ages and abilities, at a time when it takes centre stage for the British public on the eve of The Championships, Wimbledon.

The Aegon Schools Tennis Programme aims to introduce more children across the UK to tennis and develop the core skills to encourage them to continue playing. It seeks to tackle barriers that might restrict tennis' availability at some schools. Since 2009, the Programme has reached two million school children, putting over 400,000 rackets in their hands and handed out nearly 800,000 tennis balls to young people across the UK.

Greg Rusedski, Former British Number 1, said: "Tennis is a fantastic sport for all the family, a great way to get fit and have fun at the same time. I'm delighted to be here today to play tennis with some of the kids from the schools tennis programme which has given so many children their first taste of tennis".

Tom Brake with Greg Rusedski, Former British Number 1.Johanna Konta, British Female No.3 said: "You only have to see smiles on the faces of the children to see how much fun they have with a racket in hand. I want to play my part in helping inspiring kids to get involved in tennis - a sport that means so much to me."

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