Touchtennis fun in Hersham for Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab: Touchtennis was invented in Claygate

Dominic Raab: Touchtennis was invented in Claygate

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

Dominic Raab MP swapped the House of Commons for the tennis court to find out more about a unique sport developed in the borough.

Joining touchtennis creator Rashid Ahmad at Hersham Village Hall, Mr Raab enjoyed a game of the sport, which was developed in Claygate in late 2002.

Mr Ahmad, 42, who now lives in Esher, created the sport as an alternative to mainstream tennis, initially as a way on entertaining his daughter in their garden.

Unlike normal tennis where it is all about power, touchtennis focuses on deft stroke play and chess-like manoeuvres out outwit your opponent.

The game is played with foam balls on a small court and players use 21 inch racquets to help with long, intense rallies and angle play.

Mr Ahmad said Mr Raab enjoyed an hour long game of touchtennis, including a doubles match, but the pair were defeated.

He said: "[Mr Raab] picked it up very quickly. We are trying to set up a challenge match between Philip Hammond and his team and Dominic Raab and his team in Weybridge."

Speaking after his game, Mr Raab said: "This is a great way to get more people off the sofa and doing some exercise, without great expense or taking it all too seriously.

"I think Rashid is on to something, and I could see touchtennis really taking off."

Free touchtennis sessions will resume from Friday, August 8, at Churchfields Recreation Ground, Weybridge from 5pm.

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