As part of the Fitness in Tottenham campaign, Gareth Bale took part in a free tennis coaching session put on by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.
The Welsh winger showed he knows his way around the court by putting on a sound display alongside a number of local youngsters and adults.
This is just one of a number of ways in which the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation aims to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in the local community.
For Bale, making sporting opportunities like this available to people on their doorstep is vital in addressing a number of social issues we face today.
The 22-year-old said: “You saw young kids taking part as well as adults and it was enjoyable for everyone involved. It keeps people active and, especially for the youngsters, keeps them off the streets and doing something positive.
“It’s important to stay active for the sake of your own health, and playing sport is a great way to keep in shape, whether it be tennis, football or anything else. Playing sport is also an enjoyable thing to do and something which gives you the opportunity to new meet friends as well.
“So, activities such as this are great for people in Tottenham to have available to them. If I had something like this on offer to me as a youngster growing up in Cardiff, I would definitely have got involved.”
As for the tennis itself, Bale added: “I enjoyed it, although I am clearly a bit rusty and need a few practice lessons - I got beaten by a little girl! Nonetheless, it’s always enjoyable for us players to give something back to our community.”
Bale is something of a poster boy for the F.I.T – Fitness in Tottenham campaign that has run in partnership between Tottenham Hotspur and the Tottenham Journal during the month of January.
Two weeks ago, he told the Journal: “If you prepare well, eat the right things, get plenty of rest and make sure your muscles are relaxed and well stretched before a game, you will feel at 100% when you step onto the pitch."
His performances so far this season go to show he has been reaping the benefits of following that ethos, and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation is giving local people the chance to improve their own fitness by offering a range of programmes in the area.
Last week we saw how Think Fit is giving local women the chance to take part in free jogging and multi-sports sessions in Tottenham, while an equivalent programme for men aged 35+, Guys and Goals, is due to begin in February.
Grant Cornwell, Chief Executive Officer of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can help prevent illness. Here at the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation we are developing a range of innovative projects that help support and show families how small lifestyle changes can have long term health benefits.”
For more information on the programmes on offer to local people, please visit: www.tottenhamhotspur.com/foundation
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