AgeingCareElderlyNews

Age UK Launches Walking Tennis Programme For Older People

Age UK, with funding from the LTA Tennis Foundation has launched its new initiative for older people, The Walking Tennis programme, which will take place in communities across England over the next two years.

The walking version of the much-loved sport is designed to be a gentle and inclusive game and provides a supportive environment for older people of all abilities. The rules of the game include no running or jumping, allowing the ball to bounce twice and the option to play on a smaller court with modified equipment. Walking Tennis provides a fantastic way to stay active while enjoying the social benefits of being part of a tennis community. The sessions are open to everyone, for those who have a backhand like Novak Djokovic or can hit a serve as fast as Serena Williams, as well as those who’ve never played before, or anyone who is simply seeking a more relaxed pace of play!

The Walking Tennis sessions will start being delivered at eight local Age UKs from Spring 2024. These local Age UKs, which include Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin, Lincoln and South Lincolnshire, Devon, Sutton, Calderdale and Kirklees, Waltham Forest, Blackburn with Darwen and South Kent Coast, will implement and oversee the running and long-term viability of the Walking Tennis Programme.

Findings from Sport England’s survey underscore the significance of initiatives such as Walking Tennis, as, over half (51%) of people aged 55 and over who have done no physical activity in the last 28 days have also done nothing throughout the year, and 70% of those age 85 and over do no physical activity at all.

In older people, physical activity confers benefits for the following health outcomes: lower overall death rates, reduced deaths from heart diseases, fewer cases of high blood pressure, decreased risk of certain cancers, reduced instances of type-2 diabetes, better mental health (less anxiety and depression), enhanced brain function and improved sleep quality.

Paul Farmer, CEO at Age UK, said:
“We’re delighted to have received funding from the LTA Tennis Foundation to set up Age UK’s new Walking Tennis programme.

We know that keeping active can improve confidence and wellbeing, help older people to live independently for longer, and reduce isolation and loneliness.

The Walking Tennis programme will be a great opportunity for older people to get active, try something new, socialise and above all have fun!”

Tom Gibbins, Head of the LTA Tennis Foundation said:

“We are pleased to have awarded Age UK funding through our grant making programme. The LTA Tennis Foundation’s mission is to improve lives through tennis, and we are looking forward to seeing the development and impact of The Walking Tennis programmes in the communities they are delivered in.”

 

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