Students and staff from two Further Education (FE) Colleges visited the National Tennis Centre this week to take part in the Tennis Foundation's first FE Tennis Ambassadors Experience Day.
The 10 students involved are all currently on sports courses at the College of West Anglia (King's Lynn) and Easton College (Norwich) and were invited to attend following on from the Tennis Leaders training they have recently taken part in at their colleges.
Both colleges have been working with their local LTA Tennis Development Manager and the Tennis Foundation to develop tennis opportunities for students and to help grow the number students participating and volunteering in tennis. A number of the students have also attended the Level 1 Coaching Award as the colleges have promoted the opportunities for their students to get involved in local community tennis programmes.
The students were given an opportunity to develop their leadership skills with some on court activities aimed at running activities with local primary schools as well as ideas for running informal mini tennis enrichment and competition in college. They also had some high energy action taking part in a Cardio Tennis workout session, which had the group hitting loads of balls to high-tempo music, burning lots of calories and having lots of fun!
Claire Ricketts, University Tennis Coordinator at Brunel University, talked to the group about her role in helping more students and staff to play tennis, and helping to grow the future tennis workforce.
The aim of the day was to inspire them about tennis and get them to come up with creative ways to develop tennis opportunities at their college, with a view to them taking on the role of being Tennis Ambassadors at their colleges next term.
The Tennis Foundation's Further Education Manager, Christine Sprowell, said: "The students were absolutely buzzing about tennis following their experience at the National Tennis Centre, they were a really motivated group and fun to work with, and now ready to take tennis back to their colleges as Tennis Ambassadors. The development of tennis at The College of West Anglia and Easton College is a great example of what we're trying to develop at colleges across the country."
For the first time British Tennis now has an offer in place to support the delivery of college tennis. The Guide to Further Education Tennis provides an overview of all the resources and support available to the college sector, from the Tennis Foundation and the LTA. Curriculum and enrichment support is available along with advice on how to get more college students competing regularly and highlighting pathways towards a career in the tennis industry. Watch the video at the top of the page to hear from some of the participants on the day.For more information visit our further education pages.