Heather Watson serves up a tennis treat for Kensington kids

Kensington Leisure Centre recently welcomed former Wimbledon Doubles Champion and double Olympian, Heather Watson, to join Better tennis coaches in delivering sessions for inner city children, in association with Give it Your Max.

Give It Your Max (GIYM) is a UK tennis charity, which introduces primary school aged children to tennis, many of whom are from inner city and deprived areas throughout the UK.

Throughout 2019, Kensington Leisure Centre was awarded funding by GYIM to deliver free tennis camps in the heart of the North Kensington community, with sessions at the leisure centre as well as local community hub, The Curve Community Centre, with over 500 visits during the course of the year.

On 30th October, GIYM ambassador Heather Watson was on hand to share her experience and expertise with 30 local children, taking questions from participants, and even taking to the court herself to help them hone their skills as the participants rotated around the various drill stations. 

The sessions are a continuation of the successful partnership between GYIM and GLL – the operator of leisure facilities throughout the borough, under the Better brand, on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea Council.  

Similar sessions are also hosted at Better facilities in the London boroughs of Barnet, Croydon, and Hillingdon delivering weekly tennis lessons in schools, free of charge for both the pupils and the school.

Tom Edwards, Community Sport Manager, GLL, said: “As a social enterprise, GLL exists to provide affordable, accessible sport and leisure facilities, to get more people more active, more often. A key part of this is developing and maintaining an extensive tennis programme which is open to the whole community.

“We are proud to have delivered these sessions in partnership with Give It Your Max – an organisation with similar values to ourselves – to help make the sport more accessible for the whole community.”

Heather Watson, GYIM ambassador, said: “The power of sport is often talked about and it’s at appearances like these where it really hits home for me. Sport is so powerful, it unites, it inspires and most importantly it makes people happy.”