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Active Aces

Virgin Active launches Active Aces, helping to coach and inspire the next generation of tennis stars

25 Apr 2014

New tennis programme for youngsters across Britain will also be supported by a competition to find the ‘tennis aces of the future’.

Virgin Active has launched Active Aces, a new tennis coaching programme for 3 – 10 year olds that seeks to inspire the next generation of tennis talent across Britain.

Developed in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)  the programme will serve up progressive, action-packed sessions that enable youngsters to benefit from expert coaching, whatever their ability. The newly designed scheme takes budding tennis hot shots from aged three onwards through a series of different bands – from “tots” right through to “junior active ace”. Each band comprises of four different levels with specific skills attained before progressing. The programme will be introduced across 21 Virgin Active Health and Racquet clubs from spring 2014.

To celebrate the launch of Active Aces, Virgin Active is also launching a talent search open to children aged between 5 and 8 to find the ‘tennis aces of the future’, and hopes to see 5,600 youngsters take up the opportunity to win a unique prize. British number one and Virgin Active ambassador Laura Robson will help judge the competition.

The regional events will take place in May with the finals being held in June. They will be used to find two young tennis stars of the future, one girl and one boy, and give them the opportunity of a three year family membership, as well as coaching from Virgin Active, a racket and clothing contract with Wilson sporting goods and a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a game with Laura Robson. Virgin Active will run this competition to find two youngsters every year for the next three years.

Laura Robson commented: “Whilst I am extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be competing at Wimbledon this summer due to having minor wrist surgery, I am incredibly excited about focusing my energy on helping Virgin Active find and nurture the next generation of tennis talent. It is brilliant to see such a fantastic initiative which helps coach the young stars of the future.

“As a child I was very fortunate to have some incredible coaching support and guidance to help me to the top level, hopefully Active Aces will mean that there will be more opportunities for British youngsters in the long term.”

Virgin Active founder, Sir Richard Branson adds, “Last summer Virgin Active firmly established itself as a leader in the tennis community by creating a complete offer for its members which has tripled the number of adult players over the last 12 months.

This year we will build on the racquets offering and focus on encouraging young people into the sport. We are looking for two young winners of our ‘Search for a tennis ace’ campaign who will benefit from our coaching schemes as well as the experience of our incredibly successful home grown talent Laura Robson.”

Virgin Active, which has over 100 clubs across the UK, has committed to encouraging activeness across the country and Active Aces is the first of a series of programmes aimed specifically at young people.

Gary Stewart, UK Head of Racquets at Virgin Active comments: “We want to inspire higher levels of activeness across the country and Active Aces forms part of this. Tennis is one of the country’s most beloved sports, and every year around Wimbledon we focus on the future of the game. This year we want to give youngster the chance to be part of the action.

“We hope our competition and the Active Aces programme will help drive interest and involvement in the sport amongst a new generation. Our LTA registered clubs, including 2 high performance and 8 performance clubs, mean that these youngsters will get a great start on their road to tennis stardom.”

For further information on Active Aces and to find your nearest club, visit www.virginactive.co.uk. Virgin Active members should apply in club and non-members can apply via virginactive.co.uk/tennisace