Grand Opening of the new Touchtennis Courts at Ivybridge Community College
On Friday, 29 June, the College opened their upgraded Tennis facilities, converting two full size Tennis courts into eight Touchtennis courts, thanks to Tennis Foundation funding.
Throughout the day students had the opportunity to experience Touchtennis for the first time in their PE lessons, as well as playing Tennis with peers during their lunch break. The activities were all delivered by a small cohort of Tennis Ambassadors, who did a fantastic job getting everyone active and enthusiastic about tennis.
The College was selected to join the Tennis Foundation’s ‘School of Tennis’ programme in 2017, building on their successful partnership with South Devon Tennis Centre. Using the new Touchtennis courts will enable PE staff to deliver to a class of students in a small space, whilst giving students a better overall experience of Tennis.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic today to see students of all ages enjoying this new Tennis facility at Ivybridge Community College. The College is one of 85 schools nationally to be a part of our School of Tennis programme, looking to change the way Tennis is delivered in secondary schools. This is a brilliant example of a school adapting their Tennis facilities to allow all students to enjoy Tennis using a modified format of the game. We had more than 60 students between Years 7 and 10 playing Tennis together during their lunch break which was great to see”, said Rob Peters, LTA Education Officer, South West.
“We were keen to leave a lasting legacy of the Schools of Tennis programme and for the LTA to leave their footprint in a physical form. For us, the type of playing surface and the ability to be able to satisfy a higher number of students with Touchtennis was essential to the pathway we are looking to construct. Whilst we have academy links with the local Tennis Centre which provide elite opportunities, this adapted development is about us making a long lasting change to our teaching and provision through an exciting format which students are already hungry for”, said Chris Brown, Director of Sports Academies at Ivybridge Community College.
The Tennis Foundation is Great Britain’s leading Tennis charity, working to make it a sport which is inclusive and accessible for all. Its innovative School of Tennis programme 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. Launched in 2016, 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 students.