A little bit of Wimbledon in Hackney: New tennis wall helps youngsters learn sport
A taste of Wimbledon has come to Hackney with the installation of a new tennis wall at one of the borough’s five new youth hubs.
The unique REBOwall is a slanted, Astroturf-covered surface, recently set up by the Council at the Young Hackney Concorde Centre, in Kingsmead Way, Homerton.
It allows young people to develop their serve and volley alone, with a playing partner, or under the guidance of a professional coach.
Concorde, which was redeveloped as part of a £5m Council investment in youth facilities, is a growing community hotspot for those aged 8-19 and specialises in sports and healthy living.
The specialism was chosen by young people because of the proximity to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Young people can currently enjoy football, free weights, table tennis, girls’ gym and fitness sessions, tennis, track cycling and BMXing, and even cooking workshops - all for free.
One of the most popular activities is the centre’s cycling hub, which offers free bicycle sessions and maintenance classes on Wednesday afternoons between 4.30pm and 5.30pm.
The workshop was developed as a partnership project between the Council, Hackney Marsh Partnership, Cycling Club Hackney, Interlinx, Hackney BMX and Sanctuary Housing.
Kevin, 13, who is part of Cycling Club Hackney, said: “Cycling is a way to keep involved and fit, and stay away from trouble. We’ve gone to the Velodrome and Velopark, as well as Epping Forest to ride off-road. With Cycling Club Hackney you get the best coaches too!”
In addition, the cycling hub is a base for the Kingswheels project, a twice-weekly drop-in session, every Monday and Saturday from 9.30am to 11.30am, for Kingsmead residents of all ages to learn how to cycle and look after a bike. It has so far helped more than 50 people to start, restart or practise cycling.
Girls-only martial arts and the trampolining courses are scheduled to begin at the centre in the autumn.
With the last of the tennis season’s grand slams underway at Flushing Meadow, young people interested in taking up the sport can now enjoy the world’s first Wimbledon-inspired rebound wall at Concorde. But this is just one of a whole host of activities available for young people to enjoy and keep them off the streets. Sport is a great way to boost confidence, learn new things, and of course it works wonders for health and fitness.