THE dust may have settled on another thrilling Wimbledon championships - but closer to home, Helensburgh Tennis Club is doing its best to get a new generation hooked on the sport.

The club recently hosted a week-long summer holiday ‘tennis camp’ at its all-weather courts on Suffolk Street, introducing children aged between five and 13 years to a sport widely regarded as the greatest test of individual physical and mental strength.

Coach Katie Hope led two groups of youngsters - those aged between five and eight in the mornings, and between nine and 13 in the afternoons - through a series of fun activities which the club hopes will sow the seeds of a lifelong enthusiasm for tennis.

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Bobby Kerr, the club’s junior convener, told the Advertiser: “Both the morning and the afternoon classes were completely full.

“The sessions for the younger ones concentrated on the basics of co-ordination, how to hold the racquet and how to control the ball, but for the older ones Katie, and her assistants Ian Fulton and Thomas Mackay, were able to organise a series of drills and show them how to practise particular types of shot.”

And Bobby and his fellow club members are keen to ensure that children’s enthusiasm stays alive even when Wimbledon is a distant memory.

“It’s an outdoor sport, it’s fun and it enables children to meet their friends,” Bobby continued.

“And it’s all done in a very safe environment - all our coaches are PVG checked - and, at Helensburgh, it happens at some of the best facilities in the west of Scotland.

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“We work very closely with Active Schools, and we’re hoping to go back into Hermitage Primary, where we’ve run some very successful classes in the past, when the new term starts, as well as our next block of coaching, for all age groups, which starts at the end of August.

“There’s still a perception in some quarters that tennis is a sport for the elite, but nothing could be further from the truth.”