Tennis back after 15 years

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Tennis coach Andre van Royen, coaching kids at Lagmhor-Westerfield War Memorial Hall courts.

Tennis has returned to the courts of Lagmhor-Westerfield War Memorial Hall after a near-on 15-year absence.

Around 22 budding tennis players, aged five to 13 year olds, have been taking part in introductory tennis lessons at the courts over the past few weeks.

Community members held a working bee to spruce up the hall’s courts for a short four week introductory tennis programme with tennis coach Andre van Royen.

Hall committee chairperson Shannon Johnson said community members had spruced up the courts during a working bee to enable the tennis coaching to go ahead.

“We’re actually doing a four week block because we didn’t want to get too carried away with covid,” she said.

“We didn’t want to overcommit so that was our starting point and we are hoping to restart at the end of Term 3, with a view to pulling some of the older kids into inter club (competition).”

Westerfield Tennis Club was strong at one time but it had closed down around 15 years ago.

It was another way to get the facilities at the hall and grounds used, she said.

But long term it could see kids from the area enter the inter club competition in Ashburton.

The hall is regularly used for yoga sessions, community events, meeting rooms and training sessions.

The grounds have a few nice shady trees and while the courts were “pretty rough” with tree roots creating a few uneven surfaces “and a few random bounces of the ball”, it was mostly moss and overgrown hedges which were in need of attention.

There were also lines which needed repainting on the courts themselves.

“They are fine for what the kids are doing,” she said.

“It’s more just having some lessons, getting the community involved and giving kids an opportunity to play tennis,” she said.

“They’re getting a good opportunity to learn forehand, backhand, volleys and serves, and getting a nice taste of it really.”

“We’ve been really lucky to have Andre come out,” she said.