It’s like boot camp … but with a racquet.
“It’s the biggest craze in tennis,” says Warren Urquhart, the owner of, and director of tennis for, Cayman Sports Limited. “Cardio tennis is a high-intensity cardio workout, but you’re hitting tennis balls, so it is much more fun.”
During a cardio tennis class, participants hit hundreds of balls while doing a lot of running and “explosive” movements, Urquhart says, adding that the participants are “burning a ton of calories” in the class.
Cardio tennis isn’t new — the term was coined in Chicago in 1995 and Urquhart says he’s been running sessions of the exercise since 1998 — but fitness fans have latched onto it in large numbers in recent years.
Urquhart says cardio tennis participants don’t need to be good tennis players because it’s more about the workout.
“Tennis ability is not important,” he says, noting that participants don’t even need to own a tennis racquet because Cayman Sports can provide one. “All participants need are tennis shoes and water to drink.”
Cayman Sports runs hour-long cardio tennis sessions on the tennis courts at the Camana Bay Sports Complex, next to Cayman International School, weekdays, except Wednesday, at 7 a.m.; on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6 p.m.; and on Sundays starting at either 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. The cost is CI$20 per class and a minimum of four people must participate for the class to be held. There’s a maximum of eight people per session.
Camana Bay business employees and residents get at 10 per cent discount and priority registration.
People young and old who want to learn to play tennis properly can participate in group clinics that Cayman Sports provides at the Camana Bay Sports Complex courts on weekends and in the evenings. Individuals can also take private lessons at times that can be arranged.
Urquhart, who is qualified as a coach by tennis bodies in three countries, has been teaching tennis for 20 years. In London, he served as a coach at the prestigious All England Club, as well as at the Hurlingham and Roehampton Clubs. Since moving to Grand Cayman, he has represented the Cayman Islands in three different Island Games, becoming the only person to win medals in both tennis and squash.
Helping Urquhart with the tennis lessons and clinics is Yana Koroleva. Originally from Moscow, she attended Clemson University and was twice named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s “Scholar-Athlete of the Year.”
Hour-long adult beginner group tennis clinics are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. Kids tennis clinics take place Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In the afternoons immediately after school, Cayman Sports also teaches Cayman International School students as young as four years old how to play tennis.
“CIS is the only school in the Cayman Islands that offers tennis on site,” Urquhart says. “Kids get a ‘from-class-to-court’ experience where they come directly from school to tennis at the end of their day.”
The tennis lessons are geared for different age groups, he says.
“Using age-specific racquet sizes and tennis balls, students learn the game of tennis at an early age and in a fun group environment,” Urquhart says. “Students learn the correct grip, swing path, stance and footwork and progress to more advanced skills and playing points.”
The after-school tennis programme for CIS students starts at 2:20 p.m. for the youngest students and at 3:15 p.m. for the students in Grade 3 and up. Most of the sessions are offered three days per week.
Cardio tennis classes and tennis lessons are also offered to Cayman International School teachers from 4:15 p.m. until 5 p.m.
“We love the relationship that we have with CIS, which has been in place since the tennis courts opened at the end of 2008,” Urquhart says. “It’s always so satisfying watching the younger kids progress and show pure joy when they do something for the first time that they couldn’t do before.”
For more information or to sign up for sessions, email [email protected]