British Tennis Awards: Cardinal Newman RC School – Education Programme of the Year

British Tennis Awards: Cardinal Newman RC School – Education Programme of the Year

Outstanding work being done to support the Tennis Foundation’s vision of making tennis an inclusive and accessible sport for all has been recognised this week, with Cardinal Newman RC School PE Department in Wales being named Education Programme of the Year as part of the Aegon British Tennis Awards.

Representatives from Cardinal Newman will now travel to a star-studded ceremony at The Championships, Wimbledon next month to collect their trophy.

Two years ago, tennis was barely on the radar at  the school, based in Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd. But since taking part in innovative secondary schools programme ‘School of Tennis’, it has become a hub for the sport.

‘School of Tennis’ is designed and managed by the Tennis Foundation. It aims to radically change the way tennis is delivered in secondary schools to make it more relevant and engaging for teenagers. The programme provides schools with support so they can deliver tennis in the best way to suit their school and pupils.

As a direct outcome of the scheme, students in years 7-10 were able to take part in tennis sessions during curriculum time. Nearly 500 pupils completed at least one tennis-related project over a six-week period, equalling an amazing 3,000 hours spent studying the game.

The team put the ‘School of Tennis’ funding to fantastic use and introduced Cardio Tennis to the PE curriculum. This was done to such excellence that the PE department chose to demonstrate a lesson to a professional learning group of newly qualified teachers.

Last summer, twelve students successfully completed the Tennis Leader Award – two of which have gone on to coach after-school clubs at local primary schools. Neil Perkins, John Williams and Dawn Webb also went the extra mile and attended Tennis Foundation teacher training courses, creating more opportunities for students to spruce up their racket skills!

Christine Sprowell, Schools Tennis Manager at the Tennis Foundation, Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, said: “The PE staff and Senior Leadership Team have been hugely supportive in radically changing the way tennis is delivered in the school and subsequently bringing more students to the game so they can enjoy all the physical and social benefits which tennis brings.”

And it doesn’t stop there with plans to place pupils on a LTA Level 1 coaching course, while eight Student Tennis Ambassadors drive the extra-curricular programme.

The Aegon British Tennis Awards are a celebration of the people and places that deliver participation and competition. The LTA, Tennis Foundation and Aegon launched the annual awards back in 2015 to say ‘thank you’.

The Awards are our way of celebrating those support our game, increasing opportunities to play, compete and perform, and recognise great work at county, regional and national level.

Among the other winners recognised this week were Grantham Tennis Club who picked up the Disability Programme of the Year award, and Newport Live Tennis Centre which was named the Community Venue of the Year.  There was also special recognition for the inspirational Wendy Glasper of the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club who has been shortlisted for the Volunteer of the Year Award.

To find out more about the British Tennis Awards click here.