Secondary school students in Bristol put on a tennis festival for 62 local primary school children last week, having been trained as tennis ambassadors as part of the Tennis Foundation’s School of Tennis programme.
The 12 Colston’s School students are part of a group of 48 tennis ambassadors from five Bristol schools. They have been trained to support the changing way tennis is being delivered to their peers and community, providing more opportunities for students to enjoy the physical and social benefits tennis brings.
Taking place as Wimbledon fever begins to take over the nation, the festival saw the primary school pupils given a coaching clinic and then take part in some fun match play. They also got a chance to hit with former professional player Nathan Rooney, who attended the event on behalf of the Tennis Foundation.
The event acted as a celebration of the success of the School of Tennis scheme in Bristol, which has seen the five schools selected to be part of the nationwide programme. The Bristol schools selected as a ‘School of Tennis’ are;
- Bedminster Down School
- Bristol Free School
- Colston’s School
- Redlands Green School
- St Bede’s School
Each school is to receive funding of £10,000 over a three-year period, with tennis activity being used to support the following key themes; Teaching & Learning, Student Leadership, Facilities & Equipment and Community Links.
The festival was hosted by Colston’s School to coincide with their opening of six brand new tennis courts, and took place during National School Sport Week which aims to get pupils active and involved in more PE and school sport.
Christine Sprowell, Schools Tennis Manager at the Tennis Foundation, said: “It was brilliant to see young people that have been trained as part of the Tennis Foundation’s School of Tennis programme come together and deliver such a successful event.
“Not only have they themselves benefitted from the programme in learning new skills and developing as young people, but they have delivered an event that has seen more of Bristol’s schoolchildren given the opportunity to take part in a fun day of being active and playing tennis.
“It is a wonderful example of how tennis can be used to help people unlock and realise their personal potential and, as Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, that is exactly what the work of the Tennis Foundation is all about.”
A radical new programme
School of Tennis was launched by the Tennis Foundation in 2016 with initial 21 schools from across the country, with the Bristol schools joining earlier this year. The programme aims to reverse the decline in young people participating in tennis by giving secondary schools the support and funding needed to deliver tennis in the best way that suits the school and pupils.
With the support of funding and donations, the Tennis Foundation charity aims to establish 150 Schools of Tennis establishments across the country by 2020.
The Tennis Foundation’s vision is to make tennis a sport which is inclusive and accessible to all, and works to open up tennis to its priority audiences of disabled people, young people in education and people in lower socio-economic communities – making it possible for them to enjoy the many health and social benefits of the sport whilst maximising their personal potential.
Anyone interested in finding out more about School of Tennis or learning about the wider work of the Tennis Foundation and how you can support it can visit www.tennisfoundation.org.uk.