Sports talk: ‘Tennis in Wells is thriving all year round’
The first in a new series of interviews features Kevin Durney, head coach at Wells Tennis Club
Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Wells.
I’ve been a tennis coach since the age of 18 at Torquay Lawn Tennis Club as part of team of four coaches. When I saw the opportunity at Wells with a relocation project being planned, it sounded like a great opportunity to head out on my own and build a great environment for all to enjoy our sport.
Give us an overview of the tennis scene in Wells.
Tennis in Wells is thriving all year round! We coach a variety of players from four years old up to adults in their 80s in a weekly programme. We’re on the radar of Somerset Tennis as a thriving club with big plans for the future.
How difficult is tennis to take up as a sport, both for children and adults?
Tennis requires a set of skills that are not used in your day-to-day life, so it can take a little time to get used to. That said, this is no different to other skill-disciplined sports, and with practice and a little help everyone can play.
Tennis has a reputation for being one of the more expensive sports to play, is that the case?
To play social tennis at our club, or with other players, doesn’t have to be expensive. Our full adult membership works out at £3.30 a week if paid in full, or we also offer monthly payment options. The high cost comes into all sports when individuals start to specialise and we have many group and individual lessons, but to simply come and play it doesn’t have to be expensive.
In your view, is tennis and sport in general thriving in Wells?
I think we see a lot of players at our club, and when I look over at the Sports Ground from our courts you can see footballers, archers and netball players all enjoying their sports. That said, I always think more needs to be done to get people active at all ages and in any sports. There are so many benefits to having an active lifestyle and sport is a great way to ensure this.
You run a series of successful holiday clubs. When can people take part and what do they involve?
Yes, we run clubs in half-terms and in the summer holidays. They involve developing mini athletes to help them in all sports (as children should not specialise in one sport at a young age), followed by teaching them the technique and tactics of tennis in a fun, safe and relaxed environment.
Tell us a bit about your coaching qualifications.
I am one of the only Level 5 LTA Master Club Coaches in Somerset, and also have a Masters Degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology and an Honours Degree in Tennis Coaching Management. I also attend regular professional development courses as a licensed coach and am fully up to date with first aid and safeguarding qualifications.
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