Anyone for tennis? Health and fitness the family way

Josh Stokes playing tennis

Josh Stokes playing tennis - Credit: Archant

It’s been a very active month for the Curtis and Stokes family at Ipswich Sports Club as personal trainer, Leanne Webb, takes charge of improving their fitness levels.

Donna Curtis and partner Mark Sokes, Josh, nine, and Zara, four.

Donna Curtis and partner Mark Sokes, Josh, nine, and Zara, four. - Credit: Archant

Mum, Donna, says: “My programme was for 10 minutes on the treadmill as a warm up, followed up with a variety of squats, leg lunges and various stretches.

leanne Webb, personal coach at Ipswich Sports Club

leanne Webb, personal coach at Ipswich Sports Club - Credit: Archant

“I have to complete three sets of 12 repetitions, which is pretty demanding, but it’s achievable. Then it’s onto the cross trainer for 10 minutes.

“What’s been good is that the programme is flexible enough for me to do at home around my busy family life.”

Leanne gave Donna lots of hints and tips in her induction. But when she’s struggling she has nine year old Josh, a bit of an expert himself, to criticise technique and tell mum she’s not getting it right!

With the netball season coming to an end, Donna is looking to do some gym classes.

Mark has completed his induction with Leanne and used the gym several times and is following his new individually-tailored routine.

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“Zara has been to ‘mini tennis’ sessions three times in the first month and thoroughly enjoys it,” says Donna. “She can’t wait until the next session. George and Ben are both great with the little ones!

“She also enjoyed the mini tennis taster session that George did a couple of Saturdays ago. It was a great introduction to tennis for the youngsters.”

Wimbledon fortnight is a huge event at the club. People of all ages come along and watch on the big screen and get behind supporting their personal favourites. And for young Josh it was a season to remember.

“Josh was treated to his first ever trip to Wimbledon at the end of the second week. He was fortunate to get a place on a special trip organised by his Club coaches, Chris and Paul. That was one very excited young boy!” said Donna.

With the summer holidays coming up, the family will be booking into some of the summer camp events on offer. Donna is hoping that both Josh and Zara will be taking the opportunity for more tennis to keep them both active and entertained.

The choice of athletes at all levels

Ipswich Sports Club is a private members club with a wide range of fitness and leisure activities. As well as gym and studio facilities, the club also offers members the opportunity to get involved and compete on a league basis in hockey, squash and racketball and tennis.

Manager, Andy Yorke, said: “Top class sports and fitness isn’t all that we are about though.

“We’ve also got a lively social programme, a popular bar and terrace overlooking the outdoor tennis courts and restaurant facilities with excellent meals at sensible prices.

The club is on the outskirts of Ipswich on Henley Road and has ample free parking. Andy says he believes it’s one of the best kept secrets in Ipswich and well worth a visit to see.

Tennis a great spectator sport and summer is the perfect time to try it out.

Chris Daynes, head coach at the club, says you don’t have to be Andy Murray or Laura Robson to get something out of tennis. At Ipswich Sports Club it’s a year round activity, with 11 courts in total, three of them indoors.

Juniors, beginners and more experienced players can all learn to play, improve fitness and enjoy the social side too.

He says the health benefits include:

• Improved fitness from playing long rallies and from the intense bursts of activity as you chase the ball

• Improved strength and flexibility because you’re using large muscle groups

• Twisting, lunging and reaching helps improve balance and stability

• Improved concentration and speedier reactions as it requires hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to anticipate, adapt and implement winning strategies.

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