Is tennis the right sport for your child?

Is your child a tennis player of the future?
Is your child a tennis player of the future? Photo: Rebecca Nelson

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Childhood sports: it's the stuff great memories are made of. Not only is sport an ideal way for your child to have fun, it's also found to have a range of benefits like greater fitness and health, lifelong creativity and strong friendships.

Kids' sports have great programs these days, to help kids grow into the sport and have fun along the way – and tennis is no exception. In fact, it all starts with the Australian Open this summer!

Pique your child's interest with a big tennis day out

There's no better way to encourage your child's sporting interests than to take them to a game. This can help them to fall in love with the sport, be inspired by new heroes and decide if they want to learn to play.

All the tennis champions for your child to aspire to are at the Australian Open from January 14. There are a couple of great reasons to head along as a family this year:

  • Kids' Tennis Day is being held on Saturday, January 14, with free entry for kids under 15 to enjoy seeing the world's best players.
  • During the tournament itself (January 16 – 29), there will be $5 tickets for kids aged three to 14. Yes, just $5 gets your child a ground pass to every court except centre court, all day long.
  • A mini theme park, the AO Ballpark, will be filled with fun tennis activities for kids. The theme park (an Australian Open first) includes a NERF Battlezone HQ, Bob the Builder, daily stage shows, an Outdoor Adventure park with rock climbing and slack lining.
  • Okay, we should probably also tell you that the AO Ballpark will be a massive hit with kids who love their toys. The theme park includes a LEGO Play zone that's perfect for young constructers, as well hosting the only Australian edition of Shopkins International Swapkins Day – what is set to be an amazing swap meet of the hugely popular Shopkins collectables on January 28.
  • The Ballpark also provides opportunities for kids to try their hand at tennis, so your little one can find out if it's their next sporting love.

Plus…free fruit thanks to Woolworths, family-friendly $5 food options and $5 car parking for a limited number of families on each day of the Australian Open (get in quick on Ticketek!)

Tennis is the sport that gives your child a mental, physical and social workout, and if you introduce them to it they'll think you're ace! (See what we did there?)

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Is tennis the right sport for your child?

If your child falls in love with tennis at the Australian Open (and who could blame them?), then you might want to look into how they can get involved playing tennis at a local club.

Tennis is suited to kids of all ages who want to make new friends, learn some new skills and have a whole lot of fun. You don't have to be a "sporting natural" to play tennis – it's a game that everyone can play

ANZ Tennis Hot Shots is the perfect way for primary school aged kids to learn how to play tennis. It's designed to suit every child, no matter their age or ability. There are over 2,500 ANZ Tennis Hot Shots venues around Australia, so there is bound to be one in your local community

What does it cost to play tennis?

The prices of a kids' tennis program, like ANZ Tennis Hot Shots, does vary from one coach to the next. On average you can expect to pay about $10 to $15 per group coaching session. If you're looking for a program that's a little more relaxed, it's also worth searching for volunteer-run ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Community Play options, which operate in many areas, ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Community Play is also more affordable than traditional coaching sessions.

You'll also need to get your child set up with some equipment: a racquet, balls and good running shoes and clothes are on the list for your up-and-coming tennis star. (But if you don't have a tennis racquet don't worry, just let your child's coach know and they should be able to assist by lending a racquet for their first lesson.)

Pretty soon your kids will have a racquet in hand, imagining themselves as the greatest international tennis champions (minus the lucrative endorsements, unfortunately).

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