By Terry Spencer
There are now more opportunities in Rye for local young people to join in and learn their tennis skills. For some time club coaches have offered lessons for individuals and small groups at Rye Tennis Club, and junior tournament events have been held annually as part of the Rye Tennis Festival.
In the last two years, however, the club has developed its own junior coaching programme with help from the Sussex L.T.A., Rother District Council and the Sussex Playing Fields Association.
The coaching itself has been led by Frances Candy, one of the club’s L.T.A. approved tennis coaches. All equipment has been provided by the sponsors HSBC MIDLAND BANK within the B.T. Tops scheme, a nationwide drive to introduce tennis to young people. Under the scheme Frances Candy first visits local schools, gives coaching within the curriculum, and then continues the development of the game in group sessions at the club’s own courts. No charges for coaching are made for the school based lessons nor for the follow up lessons at the club’s courts.
From this club-schools community links programme the pupils next pass into the junior section where club membership is required. The normal full junior membership stands at £35 per year. However, as part of the scheme a special reduced annual subscription of £10 was set allowing juniors in the links programme to play daily up to 6pm., Monday to Friday.
In a separate venture, in the last two years in May, an Open Day was held giving local youngsters the opportunity to take part in a group coaching session led by Frances Candy with assistance from club members. These were free sessions under the ‘Play Tennis Scheme’ sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association, and all equipment was provided from the club’s extensive stock of junior rackets and balls. The Open Days were advertised in schools and the local press and attracted a good number of would-be players. More Open Days are planned for the years to come.
As further proof of the club’s determination to develop junior tennis, money was raised through an appeal to the whole club membership for the extra provision of a short tennis court. This junior short court and a practice wall is being built between the two hard courts and the eight grass courts. The playing surface will be of the same quality as the existing all-weather courts, and floodlighting is also planned.
The development of junior tennis in Rye offers local youngsters an opportunity to lay a firm foundation for almost a lifetime of sport. Tennis can be started at six years of age, and playing can last well into the seventies.
Information about the club, including membership details, can be obtained from Nick Moy at Rye 223394.
RYE SHOPWATCH HAS FIRST SUCCESS
A team of suspected shoplifters operating in Rye were successfully apprehended as a direct result of the new Shopwatch Radio Scheme operating in the town.
Suspects were observed in in a Rye shop and tracked around the town by the participating operators, who are all in direct and simultaneous contact with each other and the police, until officers could be ‘guided in’.
The exercise was concluded successfully when the suspects were apprehended in a car park and the boot of a car was found to contain several hundred pounds worth of goods that could include items removed from shops in Rye and Bexhill.
The Shopwatch Scheme welcomes new members and shops interested in joining should contact Steve Robbinson at Rye D.I.Y in Cinque Ports Street.
“Rye’s Own” August 2000
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