Wednesday, 06 July 2022

Tennis is best sport for social distancing, says coach

Tennis is best sport for social distancing, says coach

TENNIS is the best sport for social distancing, according to a husband and wife team.

Ollie Fry and his wife Louise have been running Teach Me Tennis lesssons for children at Peppard Tennis Club for seven years.

They resumed sessions at the Colliers Lane club, which was closed from March to June, earlier this month after the easing of the coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Fry, 32, who has played tennis since he was three, said: “It is perfect for social distancing. You don’t have to cross paths with anyone and it feels quite normal in this current climate.”

He said playing was also good for the children.

“They can start to feel normal again,” said Mr Fry. “It’s nice to see them back doing tennis because going from being active to doing nothing was difficult.”

Mr Fry amd his wife, who is 34, are following government covid-19 guidelines, such as keeping the number of people in group sessions down to six and making sure they don’t share equipment. Mr Fry said: “Lockdown wasn’t too bad for us. Our youngest, Poppy, was four weeks old at the start of lockdown, so it was nice to have the time to get to know her and take family walks with the dog.”

The couple, from Caversham, also have a two-year-old son, Alfie. Before the lockdown, the club had a lot of youngsters learning.

Mr Fry said: “We normally have seven or eight young coaches but it’s an awkward time at the moment.”

Max Woodthorpe Brown, 14, from Peppard said: ”It feels amazing being back on court after such a long break. When the courts re-opened I was very excited to be able to play again.

“After each day of remote learning I would try to go and play with a family member or a friend just to get back into the rhythm of it. Once tournaments started back up, I was desperate to get playing again competitively.” 

Max’s mother Melissa, 44, said: “We have two children who have been coached at Teach Me Tennis for the last nine years.

“What started out as an activity for them to try has turned into a genuine passion for the game.

“As well as the high levels of coaching, Ollie and Andy have become role models in how to approach the game on and off the court.”

Teach Me Tennis coaches people of all ages and abilities and usually hosts the School Games events each year where local schools are invited to enter teams into a competition.

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