A mum from Hawarden has joined forces with a local charity to become a tennis volunteer on the very programme that helped turn her son’s life around.
Martina Pritchard got involved in the Bouncing Back initiative at Mold Tennis Club after seeing the transformation it had on her son, who was so badly affected by anxiety that he was unable to go to school.
Martina began taking her 17-year-old son to the Bouncing Back programme, a partnership between Mold Tennis Club and Flintshire based community enterprise KIM Inspire, in August 2016.
Watching your child overcome a difficult period in their life, no matter how big or small is truly remarkable and I don’t know where we would be today and I just hope our story inspires others.
The programme has helped Martina’s son cope with his anxiety so much so he has been able to return to school.
As a way of supporting the Bouncing Back initiative, Martina decided to keep attending the weekly sessions as a volunteer to help others who may be going through the same issues she experienced with her family.
The Lawn Tennis Association and Sport Wales has funded improvements at Mold Tennis Club which has enabled it to perform a number of community outreach programmes such as the Bouncing Back programme.
The club now has four new courts and floodlights which means they can to run year-round initiatives for the community and local schools, supported by Tennis Wales and the Tennis Foundation.
The improved facilities have been heralded by KIM Inspire and the club as being central to the success of it’s community programmes.
“Tennis has changed our family’s life. We are so grateful to the Bouncing Back sessions and my son has a new-found confidence, which we thought we would never see again. Watching your child overcome a difficult period in their life, no matter how big or small is truly remarkable and I don’t know where we would be today and I just hope our story inspires others.”
Rachel Sumner, Chair of Mold Tennis Club and Youth Engagement Manager at KIM Inspire, who devised the Bouncing Back programme, said: “Tennis is such a good way for people to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing and confidence, but it is crucial to have the right facilities and environment.
At Mold Tennis Club the facilities had deteriorated and since we’ve been able to make the improvements, we’ve thrown open our doors, made it a real community club and are now working with a raft of organisations to help people with a wide range of needs play tennis.”
Record £125 million of funding now available
Clubs and communities across north Wales are now being encouraged to follow Mold Tennis Club’s lead and look at how investment into facilities can transform the programmes on offer at their clubs.
With a record £125 million of funding now available to improve facilities through the Lawn Tennis Association’s Transforming British Tennis Together initiative, launched this summer, there are real opportunities to improve grassroots tennis facilities.
Tennis Wales and the LTA are looking for community organisations and local authorities to partner with them and raise a further £125 million of matched funding to invest into a shared vision for growing the game.
Pam Griffiths, Participation Manager for Tennis Wales, said: “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for clubs, local authorities and communities to transform their local facilities so that people from across the country can play more tennis.
In particular, for programmes like Bouncing Back, it is vital that they are able to run all year round and have the facilities to make that happen. Transforming British Tennis Together provides exactly that chance by delivering more floodlit and covered courts in north Wales and indeed across the whole of the country.”
he LTA is calling on tennis clubs, parks, local government, volunteers, coaches and businesses across the region to come together and register their interest in bidding for the funds to transform their local tennis courts.