MORE than 100 people played tennis – many for the first time – during an open event in Hartford on Saturday.

The club opened its gates to potential new members with many signing up so that they can continue playing the sport all year round.

Head coach John Walsh said: “We are all about getting people to play tennis at Hartford.

“We are a friendly club and it is all about making people feel welcome and providing something for everyone.”

The youngest players on Saturday were just three-years-old, but there are players at Hartford that are still playing despite closing in on 90.

As well as some warm up exercises the children, some of whom were joined on court by their parents, learned some basic racket and ball skills.

Older children joined the open event as the morning went on and took part in more advanced tests of tennis skills.

Hartford also served up sessions for adults including a cardio session designed to improve fitness while playing tennis to music.

John, who lives in Davenham, said this variety was the way to encourage people to play tennis.

“The key to us being a good club is that we provide social and competitive tennis as well as various coaching activities,” he said.

“It’s hard work, but membership remains healthy so we must be doing something right at a time when competition for people’s attention has never been tougher.”

For more information go to