Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - CH­ERYL GIL­LAN MP for Chesham and Amer­sham

IT WAS re­ally lovely to be able to re­turn to the Chal­font St Giles ten­nis club on June 5, when Mark Fraser, the chair­man, in­vited me to open their newly-resur­faced ten­nis courts.

I’d pre­vi­ously car­ried out an­other open­ing cer­e­mony there in 1997, when the club se­cured Lot­tery fund­ing for the short ten­nis court and prac­tice wall.

The ten­nis courts now have a brand new sur­face, which is an all-weather, syn­thetic ‘car­pet’ ma­te­rial, and it is Bri­tish made which is highly ap­pro­pri­ate for a Bri­tish sport!

It was an ap­pro­pri­ate mo­ment to visit the ten­nis club, where all the gen­er­a­tions are wel­come and which has an out­stand­ing fam­ily at­mos­phere. In a few weeks, the finest play­ers are go­ing to gather at Wim­ble­don and we hope that Andy Mur­ray is go­ing to re­gain that cham­pi­onship.

But we should not for­get that the whole of the Mur­ray fam­ily is be­hind the vic­to­ries of the Mur­ray brothers on the ten­nis courts.

In the next few weeks, watch­ing those role mod­els play­ing ten­nis matches, a lot of young peo­ple will be in­spired to play ten­nis.

Coach­ing is all im­por­tant to help young play­ers achieve ex­cel­lence and clubs like Chal­font St Giles can pro­vide guid­ance and a fo­cus through the work of their own LTA qual­i­fied coach at the club. Let’s hope there could be an­other Mur­ray fam­ily in the mak­ing in South Buck­ing­hamshire. But it’s not only the com­pet­i­tive side of sports like ten­nis, where the whole fam­ily can be in­volved, which is im­por­tant. Hav­ing had a meet­ing with the board chair­man of Leap, the Sport and Ac­tiv­ity part­ner­ship for Buck­ing­hamshire ear­lier this spring, I was re­minded that ex­er­cise is part of a healthy life­style, with reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity help­ing ev­ery­one. Be­ing ac­tive cuts the risk of many health prob­lems. Com­mu­nity clubs like Chal­font St Giles help peo­ple to stay ac­tive and en­joy those ben­e­fits to health.

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