Parks Tennis

Parks Tennis, one of Ireland’s largest and most popular tennis programmes returns to venues nationwide in summer 2015 with its new sponsor Maxol, who have made a vast and colourful input into the publicity and promotional aspect for this season.

It is a non-profit making company in operation since 1997, run by 28 volunteers and supported by various organizations, such as The Irish Sports Council, Leinster Tennis, various Local Authorities, CDETB (formerly Fas/Solas) and a commercial sponsor Maxol who joined this year.

All organizations under the PTI umbrella are carrying out the aims and objectives of the organization which is to bring tennis to the community at an affordable price and make the sport accessible to all children regardless of income or background.  Parks Tennis welcomes all children irrespective of previous tennis experience and prides itself on a child-centered approach with a focus on enjoyment and participation. 

It provides tennis coaching programmes for girls and boys from 5 to 17 years in public  parks, community centres, clubs and schools in Leinster at a very low cost, especially those not exposed to the game and from all social backgrounds. Participants need only a pair of runners as rackets and balls.

The emphasis throughout all programmes is on:

  • Structured tennis sessions combines with fun and games

  • Teaching new tennis skills

  • Making friends in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere

  • Providing a thoroughly enjoyable overall experience

  • Introducing a sport for live

The main programme takes place over 4/5 weeks in the summer. Times and duration changes from one location to another to suit the local needs.  Each session ends with a tournament for participating children. Some areas in Dublin it operates all year round during the three school terms, autumn, spring and after Easter. 

Initially it started in Dublin in 1977 from an idea brought back from the U.S. by Tom Shelly, a former Fitzwilliam U17 Champion.   Together with his father, Seamus and other socially interested and tennis orientated  individuals, and the financial support of the then Dublin Corporation, it was launched in 7 areas in the City with 700 children involved. Some years later the programme expanded to other provincial areas. Today around 23,000 children take part in a nationwide programme operated by 330 coaches and assistants at 158 venues. Squad coaching for the more talented players is provided in Dublin and Cork. A number of these players have gone on to play at the highest national level. Their achievements include winning the Fitzwilliam Junior National Championships.

Parks programmes operate in many Leinster counties, including Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Meath, Westmeath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Laois, Wexford and Offaly. Although it started on tennis courts in public parks and community facilities, many private clubs, holiday complexes community centres and schools now share their courts with the local community for the purpose of the scheme. Participating clubs allow non-member children from all social backgrounds to be involved.

Tennis Irelands Schools Initiative Programme has now evolved into a four way link between Clubs/Schools/Parks/Coaches under the direction of Roger Geraghty, Director of Development and the Regional Development Officers. These four groups are working together to promote each others activities in the best interest of expanding and developing the grass roots of the game.   Active participation by all elements is crucial to its future success.

James Cluskey, Irish Davis Cup player and No.1 ranked doubles player, has agreed to be the 'face of Parks Tennis'  and attended the launch of its 2015 programme at Fitzwilliam LTC in May. It was during Parks Tennis programmes at his local community club in Swords that James took his first steps on the road to becoming a world-ranked professional player. Parks Tennis is delighted to be associated with such a high-profile and pleasant young man, who will undoubtedly encourage and stimulate children to become involved in the sport.


For further information contact:

Kay Lonergan
Parks Tennis Ireland
Phone: 01 8338711
Email: Website: