Hackney ,

Tennis wall especially designed for inner-city kids launches in Hackney


Hackney youngsters got a chance to take part in a Rebo-lution this week when a former British tennis player came to the borough to launch a new tennis wall designed especially for inner-city children.

Former British number one player and one-time coach of Andy Murray, Mark Petchey, officially unveiled the REBOwall on Tuesday 4 November at Young Hackney Concorde Centre, in Homerton

The free-standing, adjustable practice wall allows young people to develop their serve and volley alone, with a playing partner, or under the guidance of a professional coach.

REBOwall was created by tennis coach Adrian Hutchins with the aim of taking tennis into non-traditional venues, like the inner-city, and changing the way children and adults learn to play the sport.

Mark and Adrian were joined by eight children, aged 8-10 years old, from the local area during the unveiling of the wall which was installed during the summer.

Mark said: “Most schools, councils and communities are struggling for space. A tennis court takes up an enormous amount of space where you can really only have four people playing at one time.

“With a REBOwall you can have a bigger group of kids playing together, having a good time. I do feel it’s massively important to make tennis more accessible and it is great to see so many kids have the opportunity to play tennis, some for the very first time.”

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
For many of the children who have been using the wall this was the first opportunity that they have been given to play tennis regularly, and for others it was for the first time ever. The Council is determined that children in Hackney have the same opportunity to take part in sports as those from other parts of the country.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

Adrian said: “REBOwalls can be quickly and easily installed in any location and when compared to building full-sized tennis courts are a cost-effective option for community centres, schools and clubs.”

Young Hackney Concorde Centre, which is part of Hackney Council’s £5 million investment to improve facilities for young people in the local area, offers sports and healthy living facilities and allows children to take part in sports such as tennis, basketball, trampoline and badminton five days a week.