This week it's over to Jude De Silva, a TV Producer at the BBC and happy local leaguer in London.
'I started playing Tennis about 4 years ago. My daughter was taking lessons and her coach invited me to her beginner classes at Parliament Hill. I had played competitive football for more than 40 years but had come to the end of the road. Taking up tennis hadn’t even entered my head until I accompanied my daughter to her lessons. It was great to discover something that was enjoyable and kept me fit. Since then, I play twice a week and have got the bug, so to speak!
I joined the LTL at Waterloo Park 2 or 3 years ago after a word of mouth recommendation. That was a great help - it gave me more games and I met 2 or 3 local players who I'm now friends with, we play on a regular basis. I started in group 4 but managed to progress to the 2nd tier. I now play in the Parliament Hill league and managed to win group 2 last time around. So having the chance to play in the LTL has provided a benchmark for where I am and how much I’m progressing.
It’s good to come across some of the players who I first started playing against, and getting a win is really satisfying as I thought I’d never be at their standard when I first started.
Both of the venues I play at have been recently refurbished and are in lovely parts of our great city. Come rain or shine I love being out there to hit some balls and enjoy the open space. I find it’s a great de-stresser. My day job is working for BBC TV news - it can be challenging. So, meeting mates in a great setting to hit balls is a wonderful way to unwind.
The other thing I love about tennis is that you can always improve - and believe me there’s a lot of room for improvement in my game! But even when you play a better player and get heavily beaten it can feel good as you have learnt something. Also, the better players always have a word of advice and try to help in some small way - a tip about your serve or a bit of advice on rackets etc.
My advice to people getting into the game is to get some lessons - beginner classes are good for a while but then you really need to invest in some one-to-one lessons. You can do this at Parliament hill or Waterlow park. There are notices at the courts for information.
Then once you feel confident enough, get yourself into the LTL - Don’t worry about losing. Everyone is friendly and it’s the best way to find your strengths and weaknesses. Plus - you meet some great people and make friends.'
A huge thanks to Jude for his brilliant write-up. If you fancy taking on Jude and all the friendly, competitive players in the league Parliament Hill or Waterlow Park leagues visit the links below.