Tennis Foundation launches innovative School of Tennis Programme
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The Tennis Foundation has launched a new innovative pilot secondary schools programme ‘School of Tennis’ with a national training day at Loughborough University, Loughborough.
The day saw school staff, coaches and students from the 21 pilot schools enjoy a busy day of learning and on court activity to equip them with the skills and knowledge to implement the School of Tennis programme in their secondary school.
The programme, run by Britain’s leading tennis charity the Tennis Foundation, aims to radically change the way tennis is delivered in secondary schools to make it more relevant and engaging for teenagers. There is a sharp dip in tennis participation as young people reach their mid-teens and many don’t realise the many varieties of tennis available away from the traditional game. The School of Tennis programme aims to reverse this decline by giving secondary schools the support and funding needed so they can deliver tennis in the form and way that best suits their school and their pupils.
As part of the Tennis Foundation’s education programme 21 pilot Schools of Tennis have been established across Great Britain this year with the aim to establish 150 Schools of Tennis across the country by 2018.
Schools have been clustered in threes in order to support, motivate and share best practice with one another. Each school is eligible to receive over around £5,000 worth of support for the pilot and will work across key themes, Teaching and Learning, Student Leadership, Facilities and Equipment and Community Links.
“The School of Tennis programme will provide our students with high quality access to a sport that they have told us they want more of. They will relish the opportunity to take advantage of all the exciting elements of this innovative new initiative. The Tennis Foundation is bold and uncompromising in its aspiration to make tennis accessible to young people from all backgrounds and we are proud to support their important work to broaden and strengthen tennis participation in schools.” Adrian Packer, CEO, CORE Education Trust.
Paul Williams, Schools Tennis Manager at the Tennis Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be in Loughborough today to welcome coaches, teachers and students from our 21 Schools of Tennis. Today will officially ‘kick off’ the programme which is hugely exciting. We’re looking forward to supporting the schools so they can in turn get on with changing the way tennis is delivered their school and subsequently bring more students to the game so they can enjoy all the physical and social benefits which tennis brings.”
Rahul Hore, Curriculum Leader for PE at Willowfield Humanities College, Waltham Forest, one of the schools involved in the pilot said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for students from all communities to get involved in tennis and the benefits it brings. We’re hoping it will have a big impact not only on student’s health and fitness but also on their confidence, teamwork and social skills.”
The pilot programme, which will be evaluated by the Sports Industry Research Centre, will run from now until November ahead of a wider roll out in 2017.