Inclusivity

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Montrose Tennis Club (MTC) is a local community tennis club which is accessible to all. Three of MTC main goals are to promote youth development, to actively engage with the local community and to be inclusive to all. One of the ways that MTC achieves all these goals is by maintaining close links to our local primary schools, and it is these local primary schools which are central to our innovative ‘Tennis Taster’ primary schools programme. Now firmly established in the school and MTC calendar, the programme is in its 8th year and provides free coaching to over 350 children aged between 7-9 (primary 3) across 12 different primary schools within the Brechin & Montrose school cluster areas.

The programme is funded by MTC with some support from local companies, which means there is no financial cost to the schools or children. MTC provides all the coaches and the necessary equipment including teaching aids, rackets, balls, nets and lines - which are essential to the successful delivery of the programme.

The Montrose primary schools involved in the programme are,

• Borrowfield
• Ferryden
• Lochside
• Rosemount
• St Margaret’s
• Southesk

The Brechin primary schools involved in the programme are,

• Andover
• Edzell
• Lethnot
• Maisondieu
• Stracathro
• Tarfside

The initial part of the programme consists of our team of LTA qualified coaches traveling to all the individual schools to deliver a tailor-made exciting, fun and educational 4 week block of coaching which takes place during the school day within the school gyms or in the playground.

The aim of the block is to introduce all the children to the basic core skills of tennis in a fun, relaxed and enjoyable environment. All the sessions use specialised training aids, small courts and ‘low compression’ balls which makes it easier for the children to learn and progress.

The early sessions look to help the children build up their co-ordination skills through numerous games and basic ‘racket and ball’ exercises, which then progress to other games and drills which introduce the children to some basic techniques for associated with the main strokes of tennis – forehand, backhand, serve & volleys. Throughout the block, all the sessions are kept as dynamic as possible, and the coaches ensure that the speed of progression to more challenging games and drills is at a pace suitable to the children involved to ensure that the sessions retain their fun and relaxed environment feel.

Whilst MTC leads all the sessions via our team of coaches, class teachers & school assistants are an integral part of the programme and are actively encouraged to join in the sessions so that they can deliver similar sessions in the future. After the 4 wk block has been completed, 3 large tennis festivals are organised which are held at MTC.

All the children who have taken part in the 4 wk coaching block are invited to attend with their teachers / classroom assistants and over 120 children regularly attend each of the 3 festivals. Whilst the tennis festivals are the end of the formal ‘taster sessions’, the festivals are not the end of MTC mini tennis programme.

After delivering the ‘taster sessions’, there is an increase in the number of players attending our regular weekly mini red (6yr-8yr) & mini orange (8yr-9yr) classes which is a direct result of the successfulness of the ‘taster sessions’.

MTC currently run 8 different sessions for 6-9 year olds on a weekly basis which are all delivered by qualified coaches with all abilities catered for. An award of £1,000 funding from the Aviva Community fund would significantly help assist MTC to cover the cost of this valued community based programme for 7-9 year old by helping fund the team of qualified coaches, and assisting in the cost of purchasing new junior equipment such as mini tennis rackets, balls, nets and through down lines – all of which contribute significantly to the success of the programme.

Montrose Tennis Club

MTC is proud to be delivering such an exciting, free coaching programme to the local community at no cost to the children/schools involved. The programme is a fantastic opportunity to engage with over 350 children, and to offer them an opportunity to try a sport which they may not have tried before.

Location: Montrose