Tennis club's thriving junior section

Penarth Times: WINTER SUCCESSES: Penarth Lawn Tennis Club head coach Rob Cunningham with the winners and runners-up - both from Penarth LTC - of the 16 & under competition in the Vale Winter League. WINTER SUCCESSES: Penarth Lawn Tennis Club head coach Rob Cunningham with the winners and runners-up - both from Penarth LTC - of the 16 & under competition in the Vale Winter League.

THE Penarth Lawn Tennis Club’s junior section is starting the new season with great success and more participants than ever.

Much like the rest of the club, the section is thriving, with 169 youngsters on the books, over 50 of whom joined midway through last season.

The Rectory Road club entered six junior teams in the Vale Winter League, and enjoyed particular success in the 16 & under competition, clinching both first and second places. The inter-club matches were played in good spirits, with friendly banter between clubmates. The eventual winners were Tim Lee, Ben Karatas, Ewan Andrews, Jasper Hawkins and Liam Maloney, who received the cup and medals at a presentation at Penarth LTC.

To mark the start of the summer tennis season, the club will be holding a special junior open morning on Saturday, April 5, with free coaching for members and non-members. Sessions will kick-off at 9.30am for tots (under 5s), 10am for minis (ages five-10) and 11am for juniors (age 11-plus).

April also marks the start of the Aegon summer leagues, which will be a busy time for the club juniors, with 14 teams, ranging from 8 & under to 18 & under, competing. With some players new to competitive tennis, there have been special Aegon training sessions, with coaches from the Vale Tennis Academy team, to develop singles and doubles match play. Off court, parents, who have volunteered to captain the teams, are busy scheduling matches as far afield as Haverfordwest.

All of the team tennis is great preparation for the highlight of the PLTC junior calendar - the annual club championship from July 21-25. The tournament is fun for all members, from beginners to the more experienced, with plenty of activity off court. Last year's tournament was a hit for parents and juniors, with the former reminiscing that the week felt like summers in the 1980s, where children had the freedom to roam all day, in a safe environment, with all day cricket and late afternoon water fights in between tennis matches.

With the redevelopment of the club in 2013 and the growth in junior membership, the club has welcomed Julie Savill to the committee. Julie, who is taking on the role of junior membership co-ordinator, says: "It is an exciting time for Penarth LTC. Vale Tennis Academy already offers a great range of coaching courses for juniors, but, working with other parents, we are keen to offer more social tennis and off-court activities for our junior members and have some exciting trips and parties planned.”

If anyone is interested in getting their children into tennis, why not pop down to PLTC any Saturday for junior morning coaching, which is open to members and non-members, or contact juniors@pltc.org.uk. More information on the club can be found on the club website - www.pltc.org.uk.

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