16 April

Tennis; Morale Boost & Stress Relief

Rost Braharhyk

Participation in LTL is about old rivalries, meeting new players and making friends on and off the court. Along with the social attribute, I personally greatly enjoy competing with various, challenging opponents thus enabling me to sharpen up my tennis skills and learn new tricks on the court.

 

I only started to play tennis after arriving in the UK from Ukraine in 2002, as an 18 year old who never played this sport before. I had a game with a friend by chance sometime around 2004, and never stopped playing since.

I played socially a lot, sometimes even 3 matches a day in the earlier days (before family life that is) and still could not get enough. As I was never coached, I lack great technical skills but my mental strength and physical endurance (coupled with some marathon running in the past) helped me to win a lot of close matches, while often being challenged by superior, better players. 

I met quite a few of my current friends through sports, and tennis in particular. So, it played a significant role in my life to date.

My first experience with LTL was in summer 2015, shortly after I moved to Belvedere, South-East London, and I managed to win at my first attempt. My last participation in LTL was over 2 years ago while the last victory was a distant 4 years ago.

Up until lockdown in March 2020 I played about 6 times or so in the Local Tennis Leagues, with various success. I would not say that isolation somehow negatively affected myself or my fitness, as I tried to stay fit by regular cycling and running, but these lacked the competitive spirit along with social benefits of team sports. Like everyone else, being unable to take part in various sports, including tennis, over the last year, I was counting days to be able to finally get out on the court and enjoy my favourite game yet again.

So, I signed up for my 7th time in the latest round of LTL and this Bexley Parks League started off on the 1st April. By the 11th April, I completed all my group matches (albeit there were only 4 this time) and already cannot wait for the next one, when I will be defending my hard-fought "title".

Participation in LTL is about old rivalries, meeting new players and making friends on and off the court. Along with the social attribute, I personally greatly enjoy competing with various, challenging opponents thus enabling me to sharpen up my tennis skills and learn new tricks on the court.

Apart from the League matches recently, I managed to fit in a few "friendlies" and I was surprised at how busier the courts have become post-Covid lockdown both in the City of London as well as locally, in South-East London, and no doubt, across the whole of the UK.

Evidently, year-long isolation made us all appreciate tennis more than ever before, with it providing an excellent morale boost and stress relief, improving fitness levels and thus overall confidence, and will undoubtedly support our general wellbeing and competitive edge as long as we stay active.

This personal story related to tennis and life in general leads me to the conclusion by advising players, current and potential, to take up a tennis racquet and enjoy meeting new opponents and settling accounts with old rivals and experience new emotions by playing both social and competitive tennis.

LTL provided the flexibility of arranging matches that suit the players themselves while also being able to claim the bonus prize (tennis balls or dampeners) by simply playing 3 matches by the mid-point. 

I wish everyone a healthy and active 2021 and beyond and hope to see some of you on the court in the future!

 

Are you ready to get active again and enjoy some tennis? Find your Local League now.