I have loved tennis since I was a child. I can distinctly remember starting to play each year as soon as Wimbledon started on TV. From around the age of 9, I would go around my friend, Julia’s house and we would set up a net in her cul-de-sac close and one of her neighbours would join in. We would take it in turns to act as the umpire. Then, as I got older, we had the benefit of a bigger driveway so my sister and I could be found out playing most evenings.
I caught onto the rules of tennis quickly and, as it is pretty easy to understand (don’t get me started on the off-side football rule!) I would look forward to every single day that Wimbledon was on. I watched the likes of Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Chris Evett. Then, along came Boris (no, not that Boris!).
Boris Becker was 17 when he won Wimbledon back on 7th July 1985. He was the first unseeded player and the first German to win the singles title, defeating Kevin Curren in four sets. It was one of those moments I remember really well. It was a hot summers day and me and my sister were due to go and watch an open air concert at Polesden Lacey with my Grandma. But the match went on a while and we were finding it so hard to tear ourselves away. In the end we listened to the rest of the match on the radio in the car. From that point on he became a bit of a heartthrob for me and my friends. I had his poster on my wall and, when my sister made the trek to Wimbledon a few years later, she brought me back an official postcard with Boris’ picture on it.
As the years have passed, tennis has been given a bit of a back seat by me so when I attended #BML16 recently, I met up with the Lawn Tennis Association who had erected a court in a room at the Brewery and I was surprised to see that I still had it! One of the team kindly videoed me playing.
I am starting to think that maybe this bug which one bit me may have a chance at a second bite as I have signed up us for our free, local session and the great thing is, so can you!
Club Spark are running thousands of free events across the country on 16th and 17th July with tennis sessions to suit the whole family. All you need to do is go across to their website and find your nearest centre by entering your postcode. It was easy – we live in the middle of nowhere and still found one 5 miles away! Apparently theirs is an open morning from 9am until 1pm with plenty of chances to get involved – plus they have a special offer on the day.
I’m working with the Lawn Tennis Association on their #GBTW campaign. Sign up for your FREE tennis activity here.