To celebrate the start of Wimbledon we spoke to Basildon Tennis Club coach Sarah Wallis about how she inspires the next generation of players.

Sarah has been a member of the club for 20 years and coached for ten years at the tennis club at Mopsies Park, Hockley Road, Basildon.

Sarah says they are looking for new adult members and there is currently a shortage of female players.


“I coach juniors from age three and a half up to 14. I have seen a big uptake in children joining after some of the pandemic measures lifted. It is outside and safe and it means the kids have a chance to be sociable and active.”

Sarah, who played league tennis herself, decided to get her coaching qualifications in order to support children in learning to play tennis.

“Coaches were coming and going and I felt sorry for the kids and wanted to make sure the sessions kept going.

“It is not about being the best, it is about getting into something and feeling good and helping their mental health. It doesn’t matter if they don’t hit the ball one week, there’s no pressure and they all get a chance to progress.”


The sessions are very reasonably priced at £5 pay as you go.

“It benefits the community having these tennis sessions available.

“There are a further two courts we have asked the council if we can manage. It would give us more scope and we would maintain them because at the moment they are very run down.

“I think there would be a big uptake especially when the other options for playing tennis are very expensive in comparison.”

She says the sessions give youngsters a place to be together and play the sport in safety.


“I divide the kids into abilities and then they get to be together and play.

“There are some kids with ADHD and some who lack confidence and playing tennis is a great outlet.

They run group sessions for the kids and camps in the school holidays which are very popular with the youngsters.

“I run little camps in the holidays too and during the heatwave they were having water fights and have so much fun.”

Sarah is heading to watch Wimbledon herself this week and is looking forward to enjoying the game.

“I am so excited about going to Wimbledon and watching a live match!”

Go to for details.