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Age UK Walking Tennis programme

787x274_man_walking_tennis.jpgAge UK has partnered with the LTA Tennis Foundation to encourage older people to get more active and join Walking Tennis groups in communities across the country.

Funding from the LTA Tennis Foundation will enable 8 local Age UKs to set up and deliver new Walking Tennis groups, with a goal to reach over 160 older people through the game over 2 years.


What is Walking Tennis?

Walking Tennis is a slower version of the traditional game, with a few rules that make it less physically demanding – but just as much fun.

It's open to everyone, whether or not you've played tennis before and regardless of age. It's great for the mind as well as the body and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends and enjoy being part of a team.

The rules that make Walking Tennis different to the traditional version are:

  • players can’t run or jump
  • players are allowed to let the ball bounce twice
  • it can be played on a smaller court with modified equipment, such as softer balls and lighter rackets.

Why is Walking Tennis important?

Walking Tennis enables anybody – whether they are life-long tennis players, players who have had to give up, or those completely new to the sport – to give tennis a go, keeping their mind and body active whilst meeting new people and above all, having fun.

This partnership aims to bring Walking Tennis opportunities to older people who are most at risk of physical inactivity. New Walking Tennis groups will specifically support older people:

  • from lower socio-economic groups
  • living with long-term health conditions
  • living with a disability
  • from ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • women.

Where can I find Walking Tennis?

Walking Tennis will be available between July 2024 and September 2025 at 8 local Age UKs across England. Details of which Age UKs are part of the programme will be updated here.

Evaluation and learning

The Walking Tennis Programme is being formally evaluated. The evaluation will consider:

  1. Why did older people choose to join the Walking Tennis groups? And what did they think of Walking Tennis?
  2. Why did older people who attended regularly continue to do so? And what prevented those not participating regularly from doing so?
  3. What are the key factors local Age UK’s and other organisations need to consider when organising, promoting and providing Walking Tennis for older people, and to ensure that the sessions are sustainable after the project funding has finished?

The evaluation and other learnings from this programme will be available on this webpage and help support the long term development of the game.


How can I get more information?

LTA Tennis Foundation logo

For more information, please email Rebecca.Barnham@ageuk.org.uk or visit the Lawn Tennis Association website.

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 (8am-7pm, 365 days a year).  

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Last updated: May 23 2024

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