It offered a chance for over 60 year olds to enjoy tennis at a gentler pace, improve their fitness and make new friends.
Thanks to Comic Relief, Sutton Churches Tennis Club and the Lawn Tennis Association who kindly provided equipment.
If you are interested in more information, contact Gill Nolan.
Here are some photos from their adventures and some great quotes from those who attended to give you a flavour of what to expect.
“This was such a wonderful initiative to connect people. We have been in the area for over a year but didn’t get to interact with locals and whilst we are physically in reasonable health, we felt isolated. Joined with trepidation expecting a pretentiously superior tennis coach but could not have been more wrong.
Kirsty is an absolutely brilliant teacher, patient, forgiving with a sense of humour.
We now feel encouraged to continue the physical exercise and as result of this group, have been able to participate in other community events giving us a sense of ‘place’ and belonging.” (Rina)
“The Walking Tennis Course has improved my physical health by building my endurance and strength. It is a supportive group and I have made new friendships. It has provided a sense of fulfilment and something to feel good about.” (Hazel)
“The use of small rackets and soft balls help us easily learn the skills. Kirsty treats every participant fairly that each of us has chance to practise with her or her assistant. She is so nice and encourages each of us to enjoy the course.” (Mei Seung)
“Eeva and I hadn’t played tennis before and wouldn’t have started if we had not seen the advert for walking tennis. We both wanted to get involved in an exercise again and this opportunity seemed ideal… We’ve come to enjoy the game and we both hope to continue playing once the coaching sessions are finished.” (Andrew & Eeva)
“I didn't realise just collecting balls was so energetic!” (Lynda)
“After each class, students are welcome to stay and chat with each other. Everyone has a good time. Also, it makes us relax and concentrate on studying. All in all, this course is very good regarding the venue, coaches, and equipment provided.” (Albert & Siu Wei)
“You have provided refreshments after the lessons. I must add that strawberries idea has been excellent.” (Udai)
“I had been playing walking football prior to the pandemic & had intended to go back to it. However, the friend I used to go with said far from being contactless these days it is quite competitive! He advised that at 88 years I should not contemplate returning. I was in a dilemma as to what to replace it with & …walking tennis was the answer. I have enjoyed it immensely. It has been a great social occasion.” (Peter)
Click here for more information on the Sutton Befrienders.