Big brands back LTA youth scheme

The Lawn Tennis Association has signed up Adidas, Powerade and Fossil to sponsor a new scheme aimed at attracting young people into tennis.

The brands will all back Raw Tennis, an initiative designed to get 10- to 18-year-olds playing the game.

Details of the individual deals remain unclear, but it is understood that Adidas will use its sponsored athletes, including Marat Safin, to promote the initiative. Set to launch later this month, the LTA has based Raw Tennis around activities designed to improve ball skills, get people fit and offer them a social environment.

It focuses around four areas: freestyle games designed to develop racket skills, high-energy exercises, grand-slam-style competitions and personal targets.

The freestyle games include one where two players stand on one side of the net while they kick a ball between them and simultaneously hit another back and forth.

The energy games include one where two players lie in a press-up position a short distance apart and throw and catching a ball to each other.

The slams are team-based tournaments, and personal best games will centre around developing certain skills by focusing on consistency. Players score points for each shot they manage to place in a certain area of the court – setting and then later attempting to beat their scores.

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