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

Yesterday, 15:34
James Murray and Sadiq Khan in the Brunswick Estate, Clerkenwell, during the mayor's election campaign earlier this year. Picture: Islington Labour

Today’s appointment of an Islington councillor to London’s top housing job is “great news for the borough”.

Yesterday, 14:03
Idris Cartright, four and Samuel Hill, four, take part in some pond-dipping at the event

It was all smiles at Gillespie Park on Sunday as more than 500 people joined the great and the good of Islington politics to celebrate its 20th year as a nature reserve.

Yesterday, 12:32
The classroom at St Andrews

St Andrew’s Montessori School was this week celebrating its second successive “outstanding” award from Ofsted following an inspection last month.

Yesterday, 11:29
Richard Blair, the adopted son of George Orwell, unveiling a new plaque in Canonbury Square where he lived for three years. Picture: Ken Mears

A historical plaque is taken down and replaced with a near-identical sign – save one detail.

Mon, 17:14
Police outside City and Islington College in Goswell Road on Monday afternoon (Picture: Ken Mears)

A street brawl near City and Islington College in Goswell Road saw two men taken to hospital and the campus evacuated by police.

Mon, 11:42
Georges Road residents in Holloway get ready to build the 10m-high pole

Holloway homeowners were “shocked” at their own protest against a housing development.

Mon, 09:00
The Night Tube map showing which services will run all night

Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall have today announced an official start date for the Night Tube after months of speculation.

Mon, 07:00
Teachers at the launch take part in an exercise

A trailblazing scheme to keep kids safe online, successfully trialled in Islington over the last year, has been rolled out across the country.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe