4 Jun 2006

As Wimbledon - made even more famous by last year’s Hollywood blockbuster - is gearing up for its annual feast of court drama, children across Wales are being urged to take up tennis.

The Sports Council for Wales’s Dragon Sport programme - Wales’s biggest drive to get primary school children playing extra-curricular sport – is offering opportunities across the nation to emulate Henman, Sharapova and the Williams sisters.

Dragon Sport has been operating successfully all over Wales, with 477 schools and more than 1600 children taking part in tennis sessions last year.

In <your county>, Xx <fill in the number of schools and community clubs doing tennis in your LA> primary and junior schools have already taken part in Dragon Sport sessions since the programme was launched in October 2000.

Peter Hybart – Chief Executive of Tennis Wales - said, "It’s important that children have the opportunity to try as many sporting activities as possible. Tennis requires skill, stamina and energy and is also a great way to meet new friends."

Dragon Sport ambassadors to have given their seal of approval on the Dragon Sport include Robert Croft, Tanni Grey Thompson, Darren Campbell and Nicole Cooke.

Dragon Sport is funded by The National Lottery. The scheme focuses on seven sports which include athletics, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rugby and tennis.

The scheme aims to broaden children’s sporting interest and create more opportunities outside school PE lessons.

The Welsh Assembly Government last year launched Health Challenge Wales - a new national focus to secure greater ownership, commitment and action for better health, as part of a co-ordinated and sustained effort to improve levels of health in Wales.

If you are in primary school and you want to find out more about Dragon Sport in your area, ask about your local Dragon Sport Co-ordinator or check out www.dragonsport.co.uk

If you are in secondary school or older and would like to find out more about tennis opportunities in your area, contact Tennis Wales on .