A CITY restaurant has entered into a sponsorship deal with Wolverton Tennis Club to help young players reach their maximum potential.
With the eyes of the sporting world fixed on Wimbledon, VerandahTALK – which offers a mix of Indian and Lebanese food – has joined forces with the club to help find the next Andy Murray or Tim Henman, or simply to nurture a new breed of tennis enthusiasts ready to sit on Henman Hill or Murray Mount.
The sponsorship deal will cover the club’s mini-tennis programme and provide extra coaching sessions to selected young players.
Coaches at the club will select eight of their under 10s to take part in an extra one hour group training session every week for 10 weeks.
The scheme, to be known as the VerandahTALK Mini-Tennis Programme, will see players picked for the course based on their commitment, endeavour and talent.
VerandahTALK, on Stratford Road, will also supply money towards mini-tennis orange balls and a mini-tennis net. And the extra coaching sessions will be run in addition to Wolverton’s normal free coaching provided as part of its club scheme.
VerandahTALK boss Taj Raja, himself a keen tennis player, said that he has a passion for the sport and a desire to put something back into the community in Wolverton.
He said: “It’s really important for a business to be part of the community it serves.
“We’re proud to be part of a close knit and thriving community which has been extremely supportive ever since we opened our doors in 2009. Not being a massive operation means we’re able to communicate and engage with our customers on a personal level.
“With Wimbledon’s arrival this collaboration with the tennis club seemed like a logical move and a useful opportunity to introduce youngsters to the sport.
“Of course we would love to help them bring through a star name of the future, but it’s just as important to encourage a love of the sport among youngsters in Wolverton.
“Kids need something to do to keep them fit, healthy and out of trouble. The tennis club does a great job.”
Based in Osborne Street, Wolverton Tennis Club was formed in 1903 and has a full quota of men’s, women’s and colts fixtures.
Tennis club spokesman Pete Tolaini said: “This is a really generous donation from VerandahTALK.
“We have some talented young players here and it will definitely help them to develop their games.”