27 January

Tennis Life Begins at 50

Alan Seywright

Twelve years on, I remain as (or more) engaged in the sport than ever. My aim is to keep improving my game every year through a combination of practice and experience (to offset the impact of ageing). That won’t be achievable indefinitely, but it is still working for now at least!

 

They say that a milestone birthday is a time to reflect on life’s struggles and achievements and to plan for the future. Thus, my 50th birthday became the moment that I made good on a longstanding promise to myself; to start playing tennis! I joined the local David Lloyd club that day and, in my rush to catch up on all my missed tennis years, next tried my hand in Local Tennis Leagues. That turned out to be a great move. It gave me the chance to play competitive tennis in a friendly environment, as well as the pleasure of meeting new people. The Meadows in Edinburgh is a great social, sporting hub and a beautiful spot. A perfect setting for LTL.

Twelve years on, I remain as (or more) engaged in the sport than ever. My aim is to keep improving my game every year through a combination of practice and experience (to offset the impact of ageing). That won’t be achievable indefinitely, but it is still working for now at least!

Maybe tennis was a catalyst for other changes. Since I started, I’ve got married, had 2 children and worked overseas in Morocco. I’ve also managed to get fitter and healthier. Fun fact: physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 are to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as singles tennis) if you are already active, or a combination of both.

The Greek Orthodox Church in Edinburgh is adjacent to the tennis courts and was the venue for my wedding. Our guests were therefore able to enjoy watching some matches as they waited for the nuptials to start. It was also a good backdrop for a post-wedding photograph. Maybe there was an LTL match going on?

A highlight was undoubtedly the LTL tennis holiday at Lake Garda in Italy in 2011. It’s incredible to think that it was 10 years ago. It was tremendous fun with a great crowd and it’s a regret that I’ve not yet had another holiday like it. At least I’ve improved my backhand since then.

However, the real joy of LTL is meeting and competing with new people. As a University town, the league includes many students and academics from around the world. I’m sure that their memories of playing on a summer’s evening at the Meadows in the beautiful city of Edinburgh will live long with them. And would I recommend LTL? Well only if you want to make new friends and enjoy tennis life to the full!

And now I’m over 60? Well I’ll still keep up my tennis but I bought a piano for my birthday…

 

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