EXETER Tennis Centre is opening its doors as part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s Great British Tennis Weekend to encourage people of all ages and abilities to try tennis for free on 17 May.

People inspired to get on court will be able to take part in activities such as Cardio Tennis, Mini Tennis, receive tennis coaching or simply just turn up and play with their friends and family – all completely free.

The 2014 Great British Tennis Weekend will be running throughout the country and follows the success of last year’s event which saw over 7,500 people take to the courts of 39 venues on a single weekend.

LTA Chief Executive, Michael Downey, said: “We are really excited to be bringing Great British Tennis Weekend back to tennis courts nationwide this summer.

Tennis in Britain has enjoyed some fantastic results in the last 12 months with the Davis Cup team reaching the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup World Group and Andy having won Wimbledon last year.

It’s about capitalising on the interest in our sport, so that when people at home are inspired by what our players do on court, that we offer them an opportunity to get on court without cost being an issue. 

We have venues nationwide and there really is something for everyone regardless as to a person’s ability. Most importantly these weekends are going to be a lot of fun, that friends and families can enjoy together.”

Rob Dearing, LTA Head of Participation said: “The Great British Tennis Weekend events provide a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to try tennis for free. One of the great things about tennis is that you can play at any age, making it truly a sport for all the family.

"Parks and clubs across the UK are running events over the four weekends and there will be plenty of coaches and volunteers on hand to help.

"People told us last year that they really liked being able to book online in advance - we’ve made sure they can again this year at www.greatbritishtennisweekend.com.

"Venues will have rackets and balls available so there really is no excuse not to give tennis a go this summer.”

Exeter tennis Centre’s Development Officer Julie Williams is delighted to give players the chance to visit the centre. She said: “Events like this are an excellent way of engaging the whole community and letting them come and experience how brilliant tennis is. The events are free and we’ll provide everything players need – we want people to enjoy tennis, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve never played before, we want as many people as possible to come and give it a try.”

For more information on Great British Tennis Weekends 2014 and to book onto any of Exeter Tennis Centre’s free activities, please visit: www.greatbritishtennisweekend.com.