Over 500 special schools have now received support through AEGON Schools Tennis from the Tennis Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
The Tennis Foundation aims to promote tennis as an inclusive sport across a wide range of disabilities. The special schools programme has been designed to provide teachers with the tools to deliver tennis to children with additional learning and physical needs.
Schools involved receive a free copy of the ‘Special Schools Tennis Teacher Resource’, which provides guidance to empower teachers to deliver tennis effectively in Special Schools. The resource is focussed around a series of activity cards, but also provides information on adaptations, equipment and pathways for players who show potential playing tennis.
Schools registered also receive a free AEGON Schools Tennis Inclusive Equipment Pack, worth a retail value of £500. This pack includes a range of modified and adapted equipment, specifically designed for use within Special Schools.
Alexis Williams, Deputy Head Teacher at Ysgol Heol Goffa, said: "The Special Schools Tennis Teacher Resource and modified AEGON Schools Tennis Equipment Pack has made tennis possible for all our students. It has allowed pupils to access tennis at their own level and can be delivered by non-sport or tennis specialists.
“We have been able to offer tennis in timetabled lessons and also as a lunch time club, open to all students in the school, which has proved very popular. We had never tried tennis with our students before but I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm that the students have shown and hope that we will be able to build on this positive beginning.”
Woodlands School, Plymouth
Paul Williams, Schools Tennis Manager at the Tennis Foundation, added: “Many disabled young people have the ability to participate fully in tennis, with little or no adaptations. However, for some young people with more limited functional and physical abilities, our Special Schools Tennis Teacher Resource and AEGON Schools Tennis Inclusive Equipment Pack provide teachers with guidance, support and specifically designed equipment to ensure all young people enjoy their experience and can achieve.”
In March 2012, the Tennis Foundation launched a three-hour ‘Inclusive Tennis Teacher Training Course’ to complement their existing support which has been developed to give Special School teachers and those teaching disabled young people in mainstream education, the confidence and tools to deliver tennis to a class of children in a small space.
The Tennis Foundation are able to offer all Special Schools in Great Britain, one free copy of the dedicated resource and can also support a limited number with a free AEGON Schools Tennis Inclusive Equipment Pack.
In autumn 2011, 96 schools submitted a Case Study outlining the impact the Special Schools Resource and equipment Pack had on their school.