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Group leading a junior session

Nottingham College helps Tennis Foundation trial 'Beyond the Baseline' expansion


Nottingham College are the latest college in the UK to join up with Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, the Tennis Foundation, to deliver a once in a life-time opportunity for a group of Sport Level 1 students as part of a trial to expand the successful 'Beyond the Baseline' programme into the Further Education sector.

Beyond The Baseline - a joint project between Tennis Foundation and Youth Sport Trust - uses tennis and inspirational mentors to improve a range of skills, including but not limited to employability skills, social skills and leadership skills. The project has been running for three years, and in 2018 will be in 58 schools working with hundreds of young people. However, this year the programme will also be in five colleges as part of the Further Education pilot.

Having been invited to join the trial, Nottingham College welcomed former professional tennis player Jade Windley, who delivered three coaching sessions to fourteen Level 1 Sport students over the course of three visits. Growing up, Jade had to balance her schoolwork alongside her tennis training and as a result, developed discipline and the will to work hard from a young age. Whilst at school, Jade became British Junior Number 1, competed twice at the prestigious Junior Wimbledon event and proudly won a bronze medal for England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India. After having achieved 11 GCSE’s and 3 A Levels, Jade made the decision to become a full-time professional tennis player – winning 19 professional titles and achieving her lifelong dream of competing in the main draw of The Championships, Wimbledon.

Coaching the students through a series of interactive workshops, Jade focused on enhancing the students’ personal, creative, social and thinking skills, before teaching them how to incorporate the skills in a working environment. The final workshop saw students delivering a one hour tennis lesson to Glapton Primary School. The lesson was a success and thoroughly enjoyed by all involved, with the students showing significant improvements in communication and confidence.

Singing the praises of the Nottingham College Students, Jade commented:

It was a great day and I’m very proud! The students’ engagement in the classroom was brilliant and they took to my story, the programme and the life & employability skills really well.” Feedback from the students echoed Jade’s comments, with one suggesting they now “feel more confident in communicating”, whilst others agreed they have “improved the way they approach people” and “feel more confident about gaining work experience

Nottingham College’s Sport Work Experience Coordinator Tom Walker added:

The improvements in communication, confidence and attitude towards work experience and sports leadership has been fantastic to see - I’m looking forward to seeing how the students develop these skills and transfer them into the sport industry. I’m also looking forward to working with the Tennis Foundation to provide this opportunity for other students in the future.

To find out more about the Tennis Foundation’s Beyond the Baseline project, click here.

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