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

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2016
MP Andy Burnham visited the New River Green Childrens Centre, in Ramsey Walk in 2013

Parents have just hours left to respond to Islington Council’s cost-cutting plans for its early childhood service, which many fear could have a damaging effect.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Service user Anna (L) with Celia from St Martin of Tours Islington (Picture: Islington Council)

What better way to enjoy the glorious sunshine than with a spot of gardening?

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Whitehall Park School has been in temporary blocks since opening in 2014. (Picture: Nigel Sutton).

Children at Islington’s £10million first free school will spend next term in a college after being forced out of their portacabins before the new building is ready.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Adrian Carpenter

A man who stabbed a teenager to death on a Finsbury Park basketball court has been found guilty of his murder.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Members of the Britannia Squash Club outside the the Sobell Leisure Centre. From left Richard Noble, Tim Denis, Tony Lewis, Carlos Lopez Barillas and Adam O'Brien. (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Dozens of squash players went on strike for a month after frustrations with a leisure centre boiled over.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Leo Whittaker of Besant Court, Newington Green. Picture: Polly Hancock

Big changes have been mooted for Newington Green’s Besant Court estate, with one block facing demolition. Tenants yesterday reflected on their memories with James Morris.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
New Scotland Yard

A 23-year-old man was arrested in Finsbury Park yesterday on suspicion of funding terrorism.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

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 four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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