EA tennis norwich
PUBLISHED: 09:21 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:31 20 February 2013
EA Tennis amd Norfolk Tennis Academy
Its Wimbledon and the nation rediscovers its love match with tennis. But in Norfolk, thousands enjoy EA Tennis sessions all year round and this month the clubs new community venture is launched in Norwich.
Anyone for tennis? Every week around 3,000 children take over courts across Norfolk as part of EA Tennis. Some are tinies getting their first taste of the game with miniature racquets and soft balls. Others are talented teens with their sights set high.
They are all part of EA Tennis, set up eight years ago by tennis enthusiast Chris Evans. Today it employs 20 coaches who take tennis to 50 schools, and 10 sports clubs. And its not just children who learn the club caters for adults of all ages and abilities too.
This month it launches a new community tennis programme in Norwichs Eaton Park.
Chris, who grew up in Norwich, says: I started playing tennis at the age of 10, playing at school and in the park exactly what we are doing with the next generation.
The four new all-weather floodlit courts at Eaton Park will be opened on June 16, and Norwich Park Tennis aims to offer affordable courts and coaching to anyone interested. It will run regular sessions for youngsters aged from three upwards, for teenagers, for adults returning to tennis after many years, for proficient players, for complete beginners, for disabled players and for social and competitive players.
The tennis in the park is just the latest in a series of ventures which helped EA Tennis be named the most successful tennis provider in the eastern region a couple of years ago.
The feedback we always get is how professional yet personal we are as a business, trying to care for each and everyones needs whether they are a potential world beater or just want to learn the basics, says Chris.
For the very gifted and talented I also run an academy for aspiring players. This is called the Norfolk Tennis Academy.
The very young players are selected from the schools and clubs to go for more intense training at the academy, where they will have professional fitness training and play tennis five times a week.
EA Tennis has more than 30 players in the Norfolk squad, who compete regularly all over the country.
For children who play tennis competitively it is hugely beneficial, for all the obvious health reasons, but it is particularly effective in developing them as a person, preparing them for adult life."
Chris says: For children who play tennis competitively it is hugely beneficial, for all the obvious health reasons, but it is particularly effective in developing them as a person, preparing them for adult life.
I think this comes from the discipline of spending hours learning techniques, being used to working hard physically, coping with ups and down, wins and defeats, standing up against another person in battle, keeping calm under pressure, focusing on a goal and achieving it, working as a team... I could go on!
In Wimbledon month at least, the whole nation is focussed on tennis.
Chris says: I think everyone can relate to tennis as most people have played. There are lots of great personalities within the game and the public love the traditions which go back hundreds of years. It is a sport which is fiercely competitive and holds great drama but also has an element of elegance and respect.
And anyone inspired by the tennis at Wimbledon should contact EA Tennis.
Chris says: We are always looking to get people on the tennis courts, of all ages and abilities; so if they live in Norwich, Wymondham, Diss, Taverham, Hempnall, Framlingham Earl, Hellesdon, or anywhere close to those areas, we have a tennis club local to them.
Coaches also work with schools up to 20 miles from each of these clubs. And as well as new players, they are also keen to recruit trainee coaches. So if there are sporty-minded people who maybe have just come out of school and are looking for a career... offers Chris, adding: But really its not like work, its my passion!
For more information on EA Tennis and the Norfolk Tennis Academy visit www.eatennis.com