Why I Love . . . Tennis
‘Tennis is a wonderful way to socialise that brings plenty of health benefits’
Michael Jennings: “Contrary to popular belief, tennis is a sport for everyone and for all ages.”
I began playing tennis on a grass court in Ballinasloe when I was a teenager, but when I moved to Roscommon to work, there were no facilities there. Afterwards, when living in Mallow from the mid-80s, I was able to take up tennis again.
I found tennis a wonderful way to make new friends and socialise and as I improved I began to enjoy the sport even more. I played regularly two to three times a week and I then started playing in tournaments and on teams from my local club.
For me, tennis combines a wonderful social aspect with healthy competition and of course, this brings plenty of health benefits in itself. Not only do you build up your cardio on the court but your reflexes, arms and core get a good workout too.
I currently supplement tennis with gym sessions and walking, but those short, sharp bursts in the game are hard to beat. If I have had to take a break for any amount of time, I always notice how much my body has missed that exercise when I return to the court.
I’ve played veteran tournaments around the country over the years and this offers an opportunity to meet a new circle of people within the tennis community. I had to stop playing due to surgery over two years ago, but am now back in full action and I participated in my first veteran tournament last October, where I got a warm welcome from all those I played with and against, over the years.
Contrary to popular belief, tennis is a sport for everyone and for all ages. We play all year round in all weather conditions as the facilities in Mallow are excellent. You can play at your own pace and at social tennis in the club, players of varying standards can enjoy a game on the court together – it’s a flexible inclusive game, which I like.