Tim Henman, the former British tennis No1, visited Chestnut Park Primary School in West Croydon this morning as part of a participation initiative organised by the Lawn Tennis Association and funded from the former player’s charitable foundation.
LTA Youth is an innovative junior programme aimed at children aged from four to 18, created to help more children enjoy the benefits of playing and staying in tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability, disability or background.
Chestnut Park Primary School is located in one of the most deprived areas in the country. Last year, the school was encouraged by The Tim Henman Foundation and their academy trust, GLF Schools, to take up the LTA offer of free online teacher training as part of the LTA Youth Schools programme.
The school completed the primary teacher training course and received a £250 voucher, an incentive for completing the training, which they chose to use for 10 hours of team teaching with a local LTA Accredited Coach.
Following this, and to help the pupils continue their tennis journey beyond their PE sessions, The Tim Henman Foundation provided funding for all 592 pupils at the school to take part in an LTA Youth Start course, developed as the perfect introductory course for younger children who are new to tennis.
LTA Youth Start is delivered by coaches at tennis clubs, parks and other venues around the country, and includes six progressive and fun sessions with a trained LTA Youth Start coach, plus a free tennis racket, set of balls, and branded t-shirt for each child.
Today’s event was the third of the six LTA Youth Start coaching sessions that will be delivered to pupils by coaches through to April.
“Sporting opportunities in the areas that need it most is what we are about,” Henman said today after leading a coaching session of the Chestnut Park pupils.
Luke Digweed, from the LTA, said, “The LTA Youth Schools programme is a great opportunity to get pupils playing and learning through tennis and it is fantastic that the teachers at Chestnut Park Primary School have completed the training to open tennis up to its pupils.
“It is fantastic that The Tim Henman Foundation were able to provide Chestnut Park Primary School with the additional funding for pupils to continue their tennis introduction through the LTA Youth Start programme, and it was brilliant to have Tim at the school for this session.”
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