Girls' tennis group inspired by Emma Raducanu proves hit

Girls enjoying the new free sessions at Est Bergholt Tennis Club. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown (no na

The girls-only group was inspired by the success of Emma Raducanu at the US Open. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A girls' tennis group inspired by the success of US Open champion Emma Raducanu has proved a hit with Suffolk youngsters. 

East Bergholt Tennis Club decided to start the programme on the back of the Brit's grand slam success, with the aim of getting more girls into the game. 

Committee member and club coach, Matthew Watson said.: “With the success of Emma Raducanu at the US Open last year I felt that there wasn’t as much support out there for girls playing tennis. 

“I thought about trying to put a group together."

Great Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates at Flushing Meadows

Great Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates at Flushing Meadows - Credit: PA

In order to gain funding for the group, Matthew contacted local business RentMy, which offered financial support for the programme.

Mr Watson said: “We advertised it through various social media channels, and within three or four days the whole thing was sold out! 

“We charge a very small nominal fee of £1 per session. 

“The feedback so far is really positive from parents and children who are really enjoying the sessions."

Matthew Watson teaching the new free sessions at Est Bergholt Tennis Club. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brow

Matthew Watson decided to start the group to try and attract more girls to tennis. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Girls enjoying the new free sessions at Est Bergholt Tennis Club. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown (no na

The group proved a hit and is fully subscribed for now. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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Mr Watson also believes that the group will help to get girls into tennis and to stay in the sport over time. He said: “It's really important, we’ve noticed that in most sports girls drop off rate is quite high, and also getting girls to mixed classes has been difficult.  

“I think if you can do more girls only sessions, you’re more likely to keep children in sport a lot longer. I’d like to think after the course is finished that the children will carry on."

Although this programme is fully subscribed he has said that there is scope for more groups off the back of this one's success.

He said: "I think that it was almost like a pilot. 

“I would certainly be more open to more girls only sessions if the demand is there. 

“All round it’s worked really well, hopefully we’ll try to put some more sessions on in the future."

The club are also hosting an open day on Saturday April 16, between 9am-1pm. More information can be found here.

If you would like to get involved with the club you can do so by contacting Mr Watson via email.

Girl enjoying the tennis club

The club cost just £1 per session thanks to funding from a local business. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Girls enjoying the new free sessions at Est Bergholt Tennis Club. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown (no na

Matthew has said that should there be enough demand that the club will try and put on more programmes. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown