Liverpool city centre-based law firm donates cash to buy hundred of racquets for budding young tennis players as part its sponsorship of the annual sporting event. Jennie Lewis reports
Liverpool law firm MSB Solicitors have donated funds to buy hundreds of racquets for tennis-mad local children.
MSB will be a presenting sponsor of this summer’s Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament and the racquets will be used for the festival’s Kids’ Day on June 14.
Kids’ Day has become an integral part of the festival programme and now incorporates around 1,000 children from across the city region.
But organisers say as the day has grown and evolved, it has been difficult to keep up with the growing demand for equipment and this year they faced a shortfall of around 400 tennis racquets for the event.
The Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament, which launched in 2002, has grown to become the longest running and largest tennis exhibition in Europe.
Organiser Anders Borg say Kids’ Day is about creating a legacy for the festival and aims to showcase to youngsters the benefits of being engaged in sport.
He said: “When they see live tennis, the kids realise what a fantastic sport it is: the difference between seeing it on TV and on the court is like night and day.
“In the past, Liverpool-based players such as Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski and Chloe Murphy have won tennis scholarships to America that have paid for their education.
“American colleges love to have international students and they are willing to subsidise them. It shows the great opportunities that are out there.”
MSB boss, Paul Bibby, says Kids’ Day is a crucial element of the tournament programme and has committed to helping sustain it.
The decision comes as part of ongoing efforts to support and promote the development of grassroots sport in the city and the impact of sport on both personal and professional development.
The firm is also sponsor of MSB Woolton FC – an FA Charter Standard Community Club based at Camp Hill in the Woolton area of south Liverpool.
Paul says: “Sport and exercise has a demonstrable impact on the way we function both physically and cognitively and it is something we actively encourage at MSB.
“Many of the team here are involved in sport recreationally and we have plans to introduce weekly wellbeing and exercise sessions for staff in the workplace.
“What’s more, many of our staff have young families. There have been 20 babies born in the firm in the last four years!
“Add to that, we have a successful and growing family department who have helped many of our city’s young people through some of their most difficult times. It is fantastic to think we can give something positive back to those children and families.”
The countdown to the Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament 2017 started on Saturday (May 27) as hundreds of Mersey schoolchildren turned out for a tennis demo First Ark King George V playing fields in Huyton.
A week-long programme of mini-sessions will ensue from May 30 – June 4 at various locations around the city and city region.
On Saturday June 10, from noon to 3pm, there will be public mini tennis at Williamson Square and the official tournament programme gets underway with Kids Day on Wednesday June 14.
It is expected that nearly 1,000 children from schools around the city will meet at Liverpool Cricket Club for the start of the event.
Paul Bibby adds: “It truly is gratifying to know that we at MSB have been able to provide for those hundreds of city youngsters who want to get involved in sport and stand to benefit from the festival programme this year and in years to come.”