Oh I say! Stoke Park tennis camp for kids
The last thing my 7 year old daughter said to me when I left her at Stoke Park (Stoke Poges) for a day’s tennis camp was uttered between tightly gritted teeth. ‘I don’t want to be here‘. Her younger brother, 5, who knows how to cajole me into a mid-afternoon treat, smiled beatifically, and chirruped, ‘I do!’
Did I try to talk her around gently about the importance of playing sport and trying something different? No I bloody didn’t. I hissed, ‘Too bad lady, see you later’ turned on my heel and sprinted out before she could start howling.
Five hours later, I returned. The first thing she said to me was, ‘I want to do it again’.
So they are, over the Easter holidays!
There are lots of tennis camps and lots of good coaches, and my kids are not particularly talented or anything, but the great thing about Stoke Park is that it has a great spa to hang out in while your kids are slogging it away on the baseline (JOKE!). No, the thing is, the facilities are brilliant. So there are four all-weather hard courts, three indoor carpet courts and six Wimbledon specification grass courts (playable from May-Sept, where Boodles is held).
There’s also Playsight (available at only one other club in Europe) which admittedly will be more useful for when my kids can, ahem, actually hit the ball, but the technology is mind-boggling – automatic line calling, ball speed measurements, pro level stats on how far you’ve ‘travelled’ in your match mileage and calories burned. I’m desperate to try it out myself.
The other thing I liked about Stoke Park was its convenience. The kids had lunch at the onsite Italian restaurant (it will be luxe packed lunches now that the weather is better), and they also had a go in the games room opposite. After I’d collected them at the end of the day, we went across to the main hotel and had a warm milk and cookie in the lounge, with the kids gawping en route at the opulence around them.
Then it was home, with the smug satisfaction of knowing I’d had my kids out in the fresh air exercising all day. Bonza!
The Easter courses runs on Monday 6 April (Easter Monday) 10am-3pm, and costs £55 with a packed lunch provided. Or if that date doesn’t work for you, there are joint golf and tennis days which splits the fun and they’re available 30, 31 March, 1-2 April, 7-10 April and cost £65 for the day, with sibling and multiple day discounts.