CHILDREN descended on the town centre yesterday to emulate their tennis idols in a coaching session organised by town centre management company inSwindon.

About 20 children from Lainesmead Primary School visited Wharf Green for the masterclass to celebrate the start of Wimbledon.

None of the Year 3 children had ever played tennis before, and between 11am and 2pm the youngsters learned the basics to the game.

They started with ball skills including catching and throwing before getting used to the racquet and having a go at hitting the ball over the net.

Rachael Swatridge, a teaching assistant at the school, said: “The instructors took them in a class and they learned how to play some tennis.

“I don’t think any of them have experienced playing tennis before.

“It was a really good day and the children enjoyed themselves.

“It was really exciting for them and a little bit different.

“My children learned how to play and I think it’s a good thing to do, and to see that some of them have picked it up is just fantastic.”

Eight-year-old Callum Durant was one of the youngsters who enjoyed learning the sport.

He said: “We’ve been learning how to catch and throw and hit the tennis balls and later we played a game of tennis.

“I’ve never played tennis before and it’s really exciting being able to learn how to play.

“It was really fun but it was quite difficult.”

Eight-year-old Aimee Johnson, already a fan of Wimbledon, said she enjoyed learning how to play.

She said: “I think the best bit about the day was learning how to use the raquets because then we could learn how to play tennis.

“I enjoy watching Wimbledon and it’s nice to learn how to play as well as being able to watch it.”