Schoolchildren compete in 'Tag Team' tennis tournament
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Schoolchildren from across Edinburgh have taken part in a ‘Tag Team’ tournament developed in partnership between Tennis Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
Nine teams from six schools, comprising a total of 36 primary four pupils, were involved in the Finals Day at Meadowbank Stadium.
The ‘Tag Team’ format consisted of two boys and two girls in a team, with players competing in singles matchplay against other schools.
Players played two points before ‘tagging in’ a teammate who swapped in and played the next two points. The rotation was repeated through all team players until the match time was up.
The format was designed to develop key social skills such as teamwork, communication and sportsmanship, and build confidence in beginner players within a competitive environment.
The tournament included qualifying stages held locally in learning establishments to promote participation in sport and provide a level of competition suitable for beginners.
The tournament was delivered as part of the Racquets Development programme within the City of Edinburgh Council’s Sport and Outdoor Learning Unit in partnership with Tennis Scotland.
Under the arrangement, free taster sessions are delivered in schools, giving teaching staff access to the LTA Youth Tennis Teachers course, and the LTA Youth Tennis Leaders course for secondary pupils and college students.
18 teaching staff completed the LTA Tennis Teachers course, and 50 students completed the Tennis Leaders course as part of the event. This brings the total number of teachers trained in LTA Youth in Scotland to more than 1534.
The intention going forward is to integrate the event into the Edinburgh Primary Schools Sports Association (EPSSA) programme, to allow the scheme to be offered to all schools in the city.
'Key part of our work'
Grant Shearer, Tennis Scotland Participation & Development Manager, said: “It was fantastic to see so many children taking part in such an exciting competition.
“The format allows young players to not only improve their tennis capabilities, but also learn about working together as a team and build confidence.
“Taking tennis into schools is a key part of our work to engage children in the sport and help develop their skills, both on and off the court.”
'Well done to all schools'
City of Edinburgh councillor Joan Griffiths said: “I’m delighted to see that the Tag Team tennis tournament was such a success and well done to all the schools who took part in the Finals Day.
“Sports like this are great for developing skills such as teamwork, communication, building confidence and obviously improving the health of our children.
“It’s really encouraging to have partnerships like this with Tennis Scotland and I’m sure all the schools will have benefitted from the free taster sessions during the year.
“It’s also great the tournament took place in our new state of the art Meadowbank Stadium. Here in Edinburgh, we’re committed to encouraging and enabling everyone to become more physically active and enjoy the associated benefits.
“It’s important for sport to be as accessible as possible for our residents and our investment in fit-for-purpose sports facilities like Meadowbank is helping to ensure that as many people as possible can get involved in sport throughout the year.”