play tennis for a serve of good health
Tennis is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Contemporary tennis greats, like Ash Barty and Roger Federer, have helped fuel this interest and are poster people for good sportsmanship.
The Queensland weather is perfect for tennis and these times, particularly if you’re looking to be social and active, yet physically distanced.
Tennis is a great sport to maintain your fitness, strength, and agility, burning 600 calories for men and 420 for women with an hour-long game. People clearly recognised this fact with a record 32,234 bookings made at 235 tennis venues across Australia during the height of COVID restrictions. CEO, Mark Handley, confirms its popularity.
“Tennis is in an incredibly strong position to assist in improving health and wellbeing outcomes for Queenslanders and Australians. It is within the top 10 activities for participation in Queensland amongst both adults and children and as a nation, we have the highest participation rate in the world.” Mark says.
“The health benefits of playing tennis tick every need and that is why it is regarded as a sport for life by those who play it. Whether it be the physical act of getting your heart rate up or improving mental health through the social aspect of the game, I would encourage everyone to pick up a racquet again or for the first time. By the way, it’s never too late to learn something new.”
With a tennis pedigree that precedes her—former national junior champion, internationally-ranked junior, and World Youth Cup doubles champion—tennis coach at Match Point Joyner in Brisbane’s north, Lorrae Guse-Thompson, witnessed the resurgence firsthand.
“There’s definitely been an influx of people over 40 wanting to play again.” says Lorrae.
“The great thing about tennis is that it’s like riding a bike. When you pick up a racquet again, it just comes flooding back, and you can pick up where you left off and actively play.”
“It was always a relatively popular sport because Australia was so high up in the international rankings. My dad Merv Guse and my uncle Maurie Guse were both junior champions and played with the likes of Lew Hoad, Rod Laver, and Ken Rosewall.”
“So, it’s good to see its popularity grow even more.”
If you’re looking to get back into tennis, Lorrae has some tips to ease you gently back into the sport.
“It doesn’t take long to get that love for the game again.”
“You can book into a private lesson, participate in adult group coaching, get involved in fixtures, or just play with a friend.”
As with starting any sport after a period of absence, Lorrae reminds us to ease into it gently.
“Warm up properly, and take your time.”
“These days there are even modified balls that allow more time to hit the ball, which enables people to have many more rallies and gives them time to ease their way back into the game.”
Associated with a lower risk of injury, Lorrae says that tennis is a sport for everyone, no matter what your ability.
“You can push yourself as hard or as little as you want with tennis. For older people, it can be a gentle sport.”
“If you want to push yourself harder, tennis is scientifically proven to be one of the best full-body, aerobic workouts around.”
“My advice is just get out and give it a go!”
Hit up the Tennis Queensland website to find your nearest club: www.tennis.com.au/qld
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