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Tennis Scotland's new charity partnership helping kids in deprived communities

• 2 MINUTE READ

Tennis Scotland provides advantage for youngsters in deprived communities through its new partnership programme with a UK charity.

Tennis Scotland has partnered with Rackets Cubed to enhance the lives of school children in deprived areas of the nation through an innovative tennis programme. The programme aims to support fulfilment of academic potential whilst improving physical and mental wellbeing.

Rackets Cubed, a UK-registered charity currently operating south of the border, delivers integrated programmes comprising of racket sports, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) education and nutritious meals as part of its weekly activities. Founded in 2016, the organisation has a vision of ensuring that primary pupils perform to the best of their ability by benefiting from participation in sport, enhanced extracurricular lessons and an introduction to healthy eating. This is all driven by evidence that active children perform better in school, whilst a healthy diet has been proven to have a positive impact on classroom behaviour.

Research suggests that children in disadvantaged areas are less likely to participate in physical activity outside of school, subsequently leading to issues such as low self-esteem and obesity which can impact their academic achievements and overall wellbeing.

Designed to provide stability and project sport as a positive vehicle for change in communities, Tennis Scotland launched pilot sessions of the Rackets Cubed programme in Glasgow last week (Wednesday 11 May), with pupils at St Paul's Primary School in Shettleston, alongside students at Antonine and Camstradden primary schools in Drumchapel being the first to benefit from the initiative.

The Drumchapel programme will see students continue their development outside of official school hours at Drumchapel Tennis Club, a facility that's been selected as an ‘aspirational’ venue to host the sessions, aiming to increase youngsters’ confidence in joining and participating in activities at local community clubs.

Capitalising on increased interest in tennis and substantial growth of club memberships in recent years, the governing body also plans to roll out the programme over the next 12 months. Their aim is to continue increasing the provision of tennis activities to underrepresented groups, having already engaged around 350 youngsters from socially-deprived areas last year through the LTA SERVES initiative.

Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “Tennis Scotland’s mission is to open tennis up, and this exciting programme will enable us to take tennis to more disadvantaged communities and use tennis as a vehicle to raise wellbeing and attainment of young people. Over the last couple of years during the covid pandemic, many children have been less active and missed out on education. This exciting programme is a great opportunity to increase children’s physical activity, wellbeing and support extra education and nutrition resulting in a positive impact on the children.”

Geoff Newton, CEO of Rackets Cubed, shares: “Rackets Cubed is delighted to be partnering with Tennis Scotland to offer opportunities for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn a new skill, and help open up tennis to a wider audience. Combined with additional tuition in a STEM subject, and a nutritious meal, all in an ‘aspirational’ location, we are delighted to launch the first two programmes in Glasgow and look forward to working closely with Tennis Scotland to develop many more.”