Get Involved meets Ian and Lesley Pitt inspiring kids to play tennis

Last Updated: 20/06/13 11:26am

The Pitts have been inspiring kids in tennis and feature on Get Involved

There's an incredible husband and wife partnership in the South East of England who have been inspiring and helping kids play tennis for over 14 years.

Ian and Lesley Pitt have organised and run over 50 tournaments every year since 1999 in Ilford, Essex.

Their efforts are legendary in the area and were formally recognised at the Lawn Tennis Association's 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award where they won the prize for Competition Organiser.

The pair, who have been married for 34 years, stress that their key word is "enjoyment" and this amazing couple were the Local Heroes featured on the latest episode of Get Involved.

"It's very very rewarding. We've had kids who have had physical injuries and they've still managed to pursue tennis and carry on very well"

Ian Pitt

Lesley said: "It's hard work and we're lucky if we get home before 9 in the evening for tournaments.

"But I love the children. We haven't got any of our own so I can can have everybody else's! But I do give them back at the end of the day!"

The competitions across the South East are mainly for young people aged between 11 and 18 and a sign of their remarkable success and popularity is that some of the kids call Lesley 'tennis nanna'.

Speaking to many of the parents who have seen their children develop at the tournaments they all insist that without the Pitts, who offer their services on a voluntary basis, playing tennis just wouldn't be possible.

Ian added: "It's very very rewarding. We've had kids who have had physical injuries and they've still managed to pursue tennis and carry on very well."

Thanks to the monumental efforts of the Pitts and thousands of similar volunteers up and down the country there seems to be encouraging signs for the growth of tennis for all ages.

According to the Active People Survey, 445,00 adults play tennis every week - a rise of 18 per cent on last year. It always shows that 10 per cent of 5-10 year-olds and 23 per cent of 10-15 year-olds play every month.

GET INVOLVED

If you fancy lending a helping hand in the tennis scene in your area, then visit www.lta.org.uk.

Plus, if you missed our previous tennis edition on popular LTA initiatives such as Mini Tennis and Cardio Tennis, visit the Get Involved homepage.

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