The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has opened sign-ups for its hugely successful Tennis for Kids programme. The grass roots initiative, now in its third year, is back offering children aged four-11 all over the country a value for money and fun introduction to tennis – which includes six sessions, their own kit including a racket, balls and personalised t-shirt all delivered directly to them for £25.

To mark the launch, Tennis for Kids representatives Alfie Hewett, British Wheelchair Tennis legend, 2016 Wimbledon Champion and World No.1, along with doubles ace, Joss Rae and former British No.1, Annabel Croft, with the help of Britain’s biggest tennis balls, are out in Manchester and London in a bid to encourage children to pick up a racket.

Tennis for Kids has already inspired over 35,000 children to try tennis for the first time, with over 50% continuing to play on a follow-on course. This year, the LTA plans to further grow the number of young players across the nation and meet rising demand for the programme, with some key changes including; being an ‘always on’ programme, widening the age range to four – 11 year olds and broadening the locations with even more accredited coaches taking part than ever before.

The courses are aimed at children who have never played before, so focuses on fun and getting kids active, combining basic hand eye co-ordination with rudimentary tennis skills. Beyond the practical side of the sport, the sessions will be teaching children how to work with a partner, become a valuable member of a team -  all in a fun and relaxed environment. Parents are also encouraged to join in for the final session which has a ‘Family Time’ theme.

Alfie Hewett, World No. 1 Wheelchair Tennis Player said: “It’s brilliant to have the chance to inspire more children to pick up a racket and try tennis for the first time with Tennis for Kids. I fell in love with the sport at a young age and I’m fortunate that it’s led to my career and the friendships I’ve made along the way. Tennis has given me so much both on and off the court, and I would encourage any child to give Tennis for Kids a go – it’s the perfect place to start.”

Joss Rae, former British Tennis star said: “My parents introduced me to tennis when I was young, and I soon became hooked. I always looked forward to my coaching sessions and seeing my friends on court. Now as a coach myself, I’m passionate about getting more children excited for tennis and initiatives like Tennis for Kids mean more opportunities for children across the country to try it and hopefully continue playing for the rest of their lives.”

After Great Britain’s historic Davis Cup by BNP Paribas win in 2015, Tennis for Kids was launched in April 2016, to establish a genuine tennis participation legacy and develop a new generation of tennis loving children across the country.

Leon Smith, Davis Cup Captain and LTA Head Coach of Men’s Tennis said: “It’s incredible to see how many children have benefitted from Tennis for Kids since its inception in 2016. We wanted to make tennis more accessible to all and I am excited to see how the new changes this year will continue to inspire generations of tennis-loving kids. By training up coaches to deliver more courses than ever before, we’re hoping even more children who haven’t tried tennis will pick up a racket, give it a go and continue to play this great sport throughout their lives

The six session course is £25, averaging just over £4 per lesson and is available for children aged four – 11. Those who sign up will also receive a tennis racket, ball set and a Tennis for Kids personalised t-shirt to ensure they’re equipped for the on-court fun. Places are available all year round with dates pending on local coach course timings.