Free tennis taster sessions coming to a park near you

Have you ever thought about taking up tennis?

Tennis courts across our city’s parks are offering residents the opportunity to give tennis a go for free as part of our annual TAKEPART festival.

TAKEPART is a free city festival promoting active lifestyles and opportunities to enjoy sport, dance, exercise and active living in Brighton & Hove.

The taster sessions are an opportunity to play on the newly renovated and revamped courts across five of the city’s parks.

We completed the refurbishments in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), through UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation funding.

Giving tennis a taster

Taking up tennis at one of our many park tennis courts is an opportunity to learn and develop a range of tennis skills, improve your physical abilities and have fun!

There are a number of open days across parks in the city that are open to all ages, abilities and experience.

Children and young people from the age of 4 up to the age of 17 can attend one of our junior taster sessions and will need to be accompanied by an adult.

You’ll be met by an experienced coach who’ll talk you through some basic play and rules and how to hold the racket and hit the ball.

All equipment will be provided but feel free to bring your own racket, sensible clothing and water.

Open days and taster sessions

  • Preston Park, 24 June from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, open day for everyone
  • Dyke Park, 24 June from 12 noon to 2pm, open day for everyone
  • Hollingbury Park, 24 June from 2pm to 4pm, adult taster session
  • Hollingbury Park, 25 June from 9am to 10am, disability taster session

You can just turn up and play at any session during the day at Preston Park, but if you wanted to book, please do so on the Clubspark open day webpage.

Junior taster sessions

  • Hove Park, 24 June from 3pm to 4pm, junior taster session
  • Queens Park, 24 June from 9am to 10am, junior taster session
  • Hollingbury Park, 24 June from 9am to 12 midday, junior taster sessions
  • Hollingbury Park, 25 June from 10am to 11am, family taster session

Tennis for everyone in the city

Councillor Tim Rowkins, Chair of the City Environment, South Downs and The Sea Committee, said: “The council and LTA have worked closely together to deliver new and improved tennis facilities across parks in our city.

“Tennis is a great sport for maintaining health, fitness and strength, which is why we’re delighted many of our park tennis courts are opening up their courts for free so residents can give it a try as part of TAKEPART.

“The taster sessions are an opportunity to come along, try something new and see how brilliant our park tennis courts are looking.

“Coaches will be on hand to show you the ropes so you can get a taster of whether tennis is for you.

“It’s exciting to see the tennis courts come back to life and we look forward to seeing residents of all ages and abilities enjoying the new and improved facilities.”

Lawn Tennis Association

The renovations form part of a multimillion nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts and open up the sport to many more people.  

The investment has gone towards breathing new life into 18 courts across our city’s parks.  

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Brighton & Hove officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.

“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”

Which parks have been renovated?

Preston Park, Blakers Park, Rottingdean Recreation Ground and the Patcham tennis courts have all been renovated and are ready for players to grace the courts.

  • 4 courts at Preston Park have been resurfaced and repainted with new nets and posts installed and a further 4 courts have been repainted
  • 2 courts at Blakers Park have been resurfaced and repainted with new nets, posts and fencing installed
  • 2 courts at Rottingdean Recreation Ground have been repainted with new fencing installed
  • 2 courts in Patcham have been resurfaced and repainted with new nets and posts installed

The LTA and Saltdean Tennis Club both invested to refurbish the 4 courts at Saltdean Oval Park, which are expected to be ready for play in August.

All refurbished courts have new gate-access technology and booking systems.

No more waiting around

Whether you’re a tennis club member, a weekly tennis player or just want to give tennis a go, you can now check availability and book in a tennis session at the click of a button.

Courts that have recently received investment from the LTA will soon be available to book online through the LTA website.

East Brighton Park and Queens Park are also available to book online.

Tennis players will be delighted to hear they no longer have to wait around for a court to become free!

“Tennis is accessible through your local park”

Neil Dickson, chairman of the Hove Park Tennis Alliance, said: “The LTA has helped enormously in us being able to set up and subsequently run our facility successfully.

“As well as an interest free loan to install floodlights, we received a grant from the LTA to provide gate access and now that we’re using Clubspark for online bookings, in just 4 years we’ve been able to generate funds to resurface 5 courts in artificial clay.

“We’ve had really positive feedback from both members and ‘pay and play’ public court users.

“Our involvement in TAKEPART is an opportunity to expand and reinforce what we’re already doing and want to let Brighton & Hove know that tennis is accessible through your local park.

“We want to introduce ourselves to a wider audience and ask local children and young people to come and have a go at the wonderful sport of tennis, especially now that we have such enthusiastic coaching staff and great facilities at Hove Park.”

Take part in TAKEPART

TAKEPART brings together providers from across the city to showcase local opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

It’s an easy way for you to try out activities, improve your health, spend time with friends and family or find out what activities or clubs you can get involved with in the city.

For more information about TAKEPART festival and for a full programme of activities, visit our TAKEPART webpage.

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