Search

Wimbledon champ inspiring next generation in Islington

18:01 08 November 2012

Pat Cash

Pat Cash

Archant

Pat Cash calls for free tennis coaching to unearth Islington’s answer to Andy Murray

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash has called for Islington’s youngsters to be given more free tennis coaching – saying “there’s champions floating around here” if only their potential can be unlocked.

The Aussie sporting great, who memorably lifted the All England Club title in 1987, was launching a new tennis wall in Rosemary Gardens, off Shepperton Road, designed to boost grassroots take-up of the sport.

He gave a masterclass to youngsters aged seven to 15 from Canonbury youth project Urban Hope – who all donned his trademark bandana to strike balls against the wall under his guidance.

Cash, 47, told the Gazette: “The wall is fantastic, all you need is a racquet and ball and away you go. Hopefully they can get some coaching here, that’s the next step.

“There’s champions floating around, there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be. If there’s football champions [coming out of Islington], why not tennis ones?

“It’s the same physical coordination – although there’s probably more skill in tennis, more technique that makes it really tough. That’s why the next step would be free coaching here.

“Ideally that would be offered. It really should be done by the LTA [the sport’s governing body], but that’s another story.”

The wall cost £12,000 to install alongside the park’s two courts, and was jointly funded by Islington Council and Barclays bank.

It may not look too impressive given the pricetag – being essentially a blue wall (in Barclays’ trademark shade) with a white line across it – but Cash said: “I love walls, they’re the best things in the world to practice against, I still practice on them today.

“They’re great for volleys, for sharpening the reflexes.

“I did it when I was a kid first starting out, it’s absolutely the best tennis tool you could possibly have.”

Urban Hope, in Canonbury Road, offers free coaching for youngsters in Rosemary Gardens, but only 12 sessions during summer holidays.

Joy Faulkner, 24, youth and community worker at the project, said: “I absolutely agree with what Pat said. It would be great if the LTA or someone gave us money to offer more really good coaching for young people, it would be so beneficial for them.”

A spokesman for Islington Council said the council offers some group coaching for under-18s as well as to five schools and has just recruited a tennis development officer, who will be part-funded by the LTA.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

Two boys are believed to have been stabbed in a group fight at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station this afternoon, leaving one seriously injured while another fled onto a passing bus.

13:02
Masjid Al-risaalah mosque and Islington Islamic Centre. (Picture: Google Maps).

A man in his late 40s was stabbed outside a Holloway mosque in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon.

Angela Sinclair 92 years old @  Save Whittington Hospital March

A stalwart campaigner for social justice who continued going on protest marches into her 90s has died.

06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Yesterday, 18:03
Experts estimate the Holloway Prison site would be worth £2billion as housing

The days when people will be paying to live in Holloway Prison, rather than being forced to, came one step closer after the Ministry of Justice appointed property agent Bilfinger GVA to advise on the sale of the site.

Yesterday, 17:12
David Robinson

The man who died in an Archway shooting on Saturday has been named as 25-year-old David Robinson.

Yesterday, 15:59
Islington Gazette, August 24, 1956

An eight-year-old boy died after climbing onto a “mechanical horse” tractor unit, driving it and then crashing it.

Yesterday, 14:45
Seagulls in St John's Grove (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Last week, we revealed that a colony of seagulls is “terroising” St John’s Grove in Archway. In a guest column, Will McCallum, of Canonbury-based Greenpeace, explains why the “bad boys of seaside resorts” have found their place on our rooftops.

Breaking News

15:44
Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

Two boys are believed to have been stabbed in a group fight at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station this afternoon, leaving one seriously injured while another fled onto a passing bus.

Read more

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now