The tennis season is well and truly upon us – you may have been watching some of the action from around Europe where the clay court season is well under way – before you know it south London will be the centre of the tennis world again as Wimbledon is not far off.
If you’re one of the legion of casual tennis players, you may already have had an excursion to the local courts. Every year we get inspired by the pros for a few weeks, but often never take it much further. Well, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is keen to get people playing competitive tennis on a regular basis and one of the ways is by playing in tennis leagues.
Local Tennis Leagues is an organisation that has leagues all over south London, usually based in a park or area. For example, there are leagues in Battersea Park and Crystal Palace Park, one in Dulwich covering Dulwich and Belair Parks and a league based in six parks in Greenwich.
The idea is simple – you fill in a questionnaire about your tennis experience, level of fitness etc and then you’re allocated to a league of around 6-8 players. You are sent the contact details of your opponents and have approximately eight weeks to play your games, which you arrange directly with the other players at mutually convenient times. Matches are best of three sets and there are points for every set you win, as well as bonus points for completing your matches. At the end of each round there is promotion and relegation, so if you are too low or too high, it soon gets adjusted to your correct level.
Joining a Local Tennis League has another advantage: you get free British Tennis Membership and the chance to get Wimbledon tickets in a ballot, as well as priority tickets to other events such as the ATP Masters at the O2 each November.
So if you’re a typical park ‘hacker’ who could go up another level if only you had more competition, or you just want to meet different players and have fun, get in touch with your local league now and sign up for the next round. #GoHitit