Do you like playing tennis? Here in Birmingham, children from Nansen Primary School have been inspired to take up the game. Today, PE teacher Steve Lynch, is getting everyone ready to go on a special trip to watch professional players on court at Birmingham’s most famous tennis venue. Can’t wait. We’re really looking forward to getting there and seeing the children’s faces when we see the tennis playing. We’re really excited. They’re heading across town to the other side of the city, to the Edgbaston Priory Club, where the world’s top female tennis stars thrash it out on the grass courts before the start of Wimbledon, the AEGON classic. But before they get to see the players, the children are getting some coaching of their own from the experts. Right, we’re going to do a quick warm-up. Then, we’re going to split you into teams. With everyone nicely warmed up, they’re ready to get on the courts. Right, everyone back on the line we’re going to split you up and get you playing. Nansen Primary School started playing tennis as part of a scheme to introduce the sport to more schools, run by the charity, The Tennis Foundation. It’s called School of Tennis. The children coming here today, they’re not going to be world champions after their little half an hour on courts. But they might be really motivated and excited to try and take up the sport. We are working with schools of tennis to provide venues where it’s cheap or affordable or even free. And hopefully, they can carry on with their
new passion that they’ve picked up today. It’s nice meeting all these other people and learning new skills and it’s exciting and it’s fun. Among those leading the sessions, are students from next door secondary school, Rockwood Academy, working as School of
Tennis ambassadors. I’m here to volunteer to help them and they’re actually surprisingly really good. You feel proud and you gain more confidence. Now all that tennis playing is over, it’s time to have a break from the heat and watch the professionals. But for year 4 pupil Ariana, it’s not quite time to relax. She’s been chosen to toss the coin at the start of the next match on Centre Court and she’s getting in some practice. I am really honored that I was
picked out of 968 children. To tell you the truth, I will be quite nervous because I’ll be walking out and everyone can be looking down at me. Heads it is! Now, let the games begin. Like Rockwood Academy, most Schools of Tennis are secondary schools. Nansen was the first primary school to
join the scheme and taking the children to live events like this, is all part of bringing the world of tennis into the community. We’re trying to get more people playing more tennis and trying to get them really excited and get them encouraged to take up the sport. Really, the cream of the crop come from the number of kids that are playing. If you have more people playing the sport, you’ve got a better chance of having some better players right at the top end. I’ve enjoyed playing tennis because we were moving activities and it’s made me learn more about tennis. It was epic! They were really competitive and I was really inspired by them.

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Dennis Veasley

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