Money Wellness
Illustrated image of two people playing tennis. Cheap ways to play tennis. The Wimbledon effect. How to get into tennis for less
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calendar icon02 Jul 2024

Fall love-all with tennis for less this summer

Wimbledon is underway, with millions of people set to tune in from home and thousands of others camping out for tickets to see the likes of Djokovic, Alcaraz and Raducanu live in action.

Each year, the UK experiences the ‘Wimbledon effect’, with the tournament inspiring a raft of new fans, particularly youngsters, to pick up a racquet for the first time.

But tennis isn’t a cheap hobby. The cost of court hire, equipment, coaching and club membership can soon add up.

To help with this, we’ve pulled together a list of free or subsidised lessons, support for youngsters who show promise, and other ways to improve your technique for less, so you’ll be game, set and match in no time.

Barclays Free Park Tennis

Barclays Free Park Tennis offers free, social tennis sessions up and down the UK. The one-hour sessions are open to everyone regardless of age, background or ability and run every weekend at 10am. No partner required.

Find your closest park court and book a session.

Young Champs

Young Champs is the charitable arm of G Tennis, which aims to bring affordable tennis coaching to everyone. Through crowdfunding, the organisation has delivered 1,293 hours of coaching to more than 250 kids across sites in Clapham, Stockwell, Vauxhall and Buckinghamshire. Its next task is calling on clubs up and down the country to provide 10,000 hours of tennis through its Project 10K initiative. Get more information on how they can help your kids get into tennis.

Tennis Talents

The objective of Tennis Talents is to help young tennis players who need financial support. They assist players aged 13 to 21 from across the UK. Find out more

Tennis for All

Tennis for All has provided free tennis sessions for more than 1,100 young people. Find out how to get involved in one of its free sessions.

Age UK Walking Tennis programme

Age UK has partnered with the LTA Tennis Foundation to encourage older people to get more active and join walking tennis groups across the UK.

Walking tennis is a slower version of the traditional game, with a few rules that make it less physically demanding – but just as much fun.

It’ll be available between July 2024 and September 2025 at eight Age UK sites across England including:

  • Blackburn
  • Calderdale and Kirklees
  • Devon
  • Lincoln and South Lincolnshire
  • Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  • South Kent Coast
  • Sutton
  • Waltham Forest.

Get more details.

Free - or reduced cost - sessions locally

Lots of local organisations and councils offer free or reduced-cost tennis sessions. Visit the LTA website to search for schemes in your area or head to your local council’s website.

And, even if you can’t find any free sessions close to you, you can still improve your forehand without breaking the bank. Here are our top tips:

Find free or low-cost courts

Check out your local council website to find public tennis courts in your area that are free to use or have a low hourly fee. Many parks, schools and community centres have tennis courts that are open to the public. You can also check with local tennis clubs or facilities for any discounted rates or community programmes.

Borrow, rent or buy preowned equipment

If you don't own a tennis racket, see if you can borrow one from a friend or family member. If you’ve booked a court at a local tennis club, see if they rent out equipment at a low cost. It’s also worth checking out tennis retailers online as some of the more specialist providers sell preowned equipment or even test racquets at a fraction of the price of new.

Join a community tennis programme

Look for local community programmes or clubs that offer affordable tennis lessons or group sessions. Programmes such as the Barclays Free Park Tennis above are often more budget-friendly than private lessons and can provide access to coaching and practice partners.

Attend free tennis clinics or events

Keep an eye out for free tennis clinics, workshops or events in your area. These can be a great way to improve your skills, meet other tennis enthusiasts and learn more about the sport.

Practice with a tennis wall

If you don't have a practice partner, you can work on your strokes and footwork by hitting against a tennis wall. Many public courts have walls that you can use for practice at no cost.

Watch online tutorials

There are plenty of free resources available online, such as instructional videos and tutorials, that can help you improve your skills. You can learn new techniques, strategies and drills from experienced players and coaches for free.

Play in tournaments

Getting involved in local tennis tournaments can be a fun way to test your skills and meet other players in your area. Look for tournaments with low entry fees or even free entry if possible.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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