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Protest held outside Welsh National Tennis Centre

Campaigners fighting to save the Welsh National Tennis Centre in Cardiff have staged a protest as the doors are due to close for the final time this evening.

Virgin Active, who had been running the centre, says it is 'not financially viable', adding that the previous tenants Esporta had been making a significant financial loss.

But campaigners say the closure would be a blow to those who regularly use the centre, particularly after Andy Murry's Olympic gold and Grand Slam victories gave a boost to British tennis.

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Tennis "opportunities" across Wales

"Tennis gains its highest profile during the Wimbledon fortnight, so it's an ideal time to highlight the opportunities around Wales.

"You don't have to be a super athlete or ultra-competitive to enjoy tennis.

"The game comes in many forms these days - and most people play for fun, friendship and as part of a healthy lifestyle.

"These free sessions will help show how accessible tennis is - as one of the few sports you can play and enjoy at virtually any age, no matter what your ability."

– Peter Drew, Tennis Wales

Find free tennis sessions near you

As Wimbledon gets underway, various clubs across Wales are providing free tennis sessions for women and girls. It's hoped the scheme will encourage more people to take up the sport this summer. Clubs that are hosting free sessions include:

  • Diamond Tennis Academy, Cardiff
  • David Lloyd, Cardiff
  • Rhos-on-Sea LTC
  • Llantrisant TC
  • Cowbridge LTC
  • Flintshire Tennis
  • Mackintosh TC, Cardiff
  • Newtown TC
  • St Fagans TC
  • Crickhowell TC

Welsh women to benefit from free tennis offer

Women are being encouraged onto the courts this summer Credit: PA

Free tennis sessions are being offered to women in Wales. The scheme is part of Sport Wales' What Moves You campaign. As the world's greatest players descend on Wimbledon for two weeks, it's hoped more people will take up their raquets and make for the courts.

Britain's Laura Robson competes at Wimbledon Credit: PA

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92 and still playing tennis. The key? 'Young at heart, young in mind'

Basil Smith makes the round trip of 80 miles from Carmarthenshire to Swansea twice a week to play tennis.

At 92 years old, he says the key to his success is by staying, "Young at heart, young in mind."

Basil says that, "Vital health is good, enjoy yourself but don't abuse yourself."

And he should know - he says he starts, and ends, every day with half an hour of exercise as well as visiting Swansea Tennis Centre on Mondays and Thursdays.

92-year-old Basil practises his serve

He's nearly four times older than Andy Murray but 92-year-old Basil Smith from Carmathenshire is still causing somewhat of a stir at the Swansea Tennis Centre.

Basil Smith on the courts in Swansea Credit: Lynn Courtney/ITV News
Basil Smith travels from Carmarthenshire to play at the Swansea Tennis Centre Credit: Lynn Courtney/ITV News