A tennis coach is on a mission to promote the sport to children.
Dave Watson, 22, head coach at Epping Tennis Club, is this week visiting primary schools to drum up interest beyond the so-called 'Andy Murray effect' following the Scotman's Wimbledon victory last year.
He said: “Tennis is great because it’s sociable and you can play it all over the world with very little equipment.
“ I want to inspire the next generation to take it up.”
Mr Watson is self employed and has worked at the club for two years, during which time he has increased membership and the number of people taking lessons to around 200 per week.
He says a key to increased participation is changes to opening hours which allow people to play in the evening and at the weekend.
He said: “I’ve tried to do the little things right, like getting back to anyone who’s called because people remember those things and they make a big difference.
“I’ve tried to make some improvements to the clubhouse and facilities too because when I arrived it was left to rack and ruin and if the clubhouse is nicer people will want to stay.”
"I don't think the 'Andy Murray effect' hasn't made that much of a difference.
"Wimbledon helps get people out playing but only for a couple of weeks but my focus is on maintinaing the interest all year round with winter training and squads."
The club hosted the first of four tournaments planned this year over the weekend which saw players visiting from Cambridge and Middlesex.
Mr Watson is inviting people to get involved with an attempt to stage the biggest ever tennis lesson on June 14 at the club.
In The week prior to the attempt, he will also be running a mini-tennis event for children outside Costa coffee shop in High Street, Epping, to promote the club.
For more information contact Dave Watson on 07775 890306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org