Tennis ace inspires young players at Manor Primary SchoolBack
British tennis superstar Tim Henman was inspiring young players when he visited Manor Primary School recently.
The former British no.1 came to the school as part of the LTA Youth Tennis programme, an innovative scheme aimed at children aged from four to 18. It is designed to help more younger players enjoy the benefits of tennis and stay with the sport whatever their age, gender, ability, disability or background. A total of 286 children from Years 1 to 6 are taking part in the programme at Manor Primary School.
The school was encouraged by The Tim Henman Foundation and the Trust to take up an offer from the LTA of free online teacher training as part of the programme, which is being delivered across both primary and secondary schools.
Head of Foundation at GLF Schools, Jak Martin said: “The GLF Schools Foundation tennis programme has been a great success. Students and staff are thoroughly enjoying having the opportunity to take part in these expertly delivered tennis sessions.”
After the school registered with LTA Youth Schools, they completed the Primary teacher training course and received a £250 voucher, an incentive for completing the training, which they chose to use for ten hours of team teaching with a local LTA Accredited Coach.
LTA Youth Start is delivered by coaches at tennis clubs, parks and other venues around the country, and includes six fun and progressive sessions with a trained LTA Youth Start coach, along with a free tennis racket, set of balls and a branded t-shirt for each child. Manor Primary School is the second in the Trust to benefit from the programme.
Tim said: “We first took the programme with the LTA into Chestnut Park Primary School, where the students have so much potential, and we’ve really seen the benefit.
“The last few years have been so challenging for everyone, and the deprivation is even greater now, with more individuals, families and schools needing support.
“Accessibility and opportunity in tennis is not always easy, but you can see from the reaction of the children how worthwhile it is. You don’t have to have a traditional tennis court – it can be the playground or the school hall.
“It’s very motivating for the children to be getting something they wouldn’t ordinarily have received – that’s what motivates me to do more.”
After a coaching session with the former world number four, our school’s eight house leaders had the opportunity to put their questions to him.
Thomas, Finnan, Amelia, Liza, Seren, Layla, Olivia and Emilie, who are all in Year 6, asked Tim a range of questions from his training schedule when he was their age to how many competitions he had won, and whether he had ever regretted leaving school at 16 to play tennis.