“Coming from South East London, I’ll at all times keep in mind attending my stay first tennis occasion on the O2”

Annis Frimpong

Annis Frimpong

The Nitto ATP Finals are being held in London for the 12th and last time this week. To have fun the occasion’s 12-year run within the UK we’ll be telling the tales of these it has impressed through the years.

For 13-year outdated Annis Frimpong from Lewisham, she remembers vividly when her love affair started with tennis started.  Her father Isaac created a makeshift web on a basketball court docket on the age of 4 and immediately she was hooked. 

It was a sport Annis might play together with her complete household.  Her dad is now a Stage Two LTA Accredited Coach and she or he might additionally play together with her twin brothers (two years older) in addition to her youthful sister.

“I nonetheless keep in mind the sensation of connecting with the ball once I was youthful.  I favored hitting the ball exhausting and simply letting go.  After all I favored competing as effectively however most of all having enjoyable and having fun with it, enjoying with associates of with my household.”

The Frimpong household had been capable of go to the 2013 version of the ATP Finals courtesy of some tickets they managed to get through the LTA at her membership on the time Burgess Park Tennis Centre, the place her dad additionally volunteered. 

That first go to to a stay tennis occasion, seeing the perfect gamers in particular person left an indelible mark on the six yr outdated.  “We watched Roger (Federer) play Nishikori and it was simply superb to be at this occasion you had seen on TV and to have close to the place you lived.  It’s inspiring whenever you play membership matches and then you definately go to a stay occasion to see how briskly the tennis is and the way passionate the followers are in the true expertise.  It was one thing that I’ll always remember and inspired me to strive tougher.”

After visiting the season-ending occasion at The O2, the household continued to play at parks domestically when journey prices grew to become prohibitive to attend Burgess Park. 

Annis has at all times cherished to look at Roger, Novak, Rafa and Halep.  Her large function mannequin is Serena Williams, particularly as a mom how she has come so near tying Margaret Court docket’s document and reaching 4 main finals since coming again.  She is also impressed by Coco Gauff saying: “It offers me hope if a participant close to my age be capable of compete in opposition to a lot larger ranked gamers, then if I proceed to play the perfect I can then perhaps I can obtain much more.”

Earlier this yr, the household’s tennis scenario grew to become extra sophisticated after the primary lockdown.  LTA Participation Improvement Supervisor, Tanya Woodward, was alerted to Annis’ case and was decided to assist out. Due to the kindness of native Tennis Membership Catford Wanderers, they had been capable of prolong her a scholarship which now permits her and the household to play as typically as they’ll.

Annis is worked up in regards to the future: “Now I’m on the Underneath 14 Kent County Squad, enjoying at a score of seven.1.  My targets for the long run are to maintain transferring ahead, having enjoyable, having fun with my tennis and seeing the place it takes me.”  

Serving to to create an ATP Finals legacy

Over the past three years tennis participation has been steadily rising throughout November, in comparison with different winter months. That is little doubt helped by the visibility given to tennis nationally by the ATP Finals and the perfect gamers on the earth. 

Since 2012 the LTA has offered greater than £5m in capital grants and loans to just about 50 London venues – 17 of these have been within the south east and east areas of London. The LTA additionally works with South East London Tennis, Tennis Lewisham and Catford Wanderers Tennis membership to assist ship extra reasonably priced tennis alternatives. 

The LTA’s SERVES Programme has additionally helped introduce tennis to a wider group of individuals – by holding classes in housing associations, group centres, mosques and temples. Greater than 32,000 individuals have taken half within the programme, with greater than 936 individuals educated to ship classes. A complete of 75 SERVES organisations ship SERVES programmes in London, the place almost 60% of contributors come from ethnically various communities. 

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