The Tennis Foundation’s University programme
is an all encompassing programme. We are looking to provide everything we can
for people wanting to play more at university, people wanting to compete at university including
those wanting to compete to a higher level, and of course workforce development because tennis
is a fantastic sport, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills and also potentially
to be employed in tennis. The programmes that are on offer to help them
develop over their three or four years at university are fantastic. There are 350 teams that compete from over 100
universities. They compete every Wednesday and play in a team of between 4 and 6 players. I absolutely loved being part of a team, and
there are skills that you develop in a team that can then go on and hugely help you when
you are out there playing by yourself as well. There’s something for everybody who’s keen
on tennis at university. There’s some fantastic facilities and all level players are welcome. Now we have University Tennis Ambassadors
and University Tennis Coordinators they are helping with participation, maybe they haven’t
played since school, maybe they’ve never held a racket before, so there’s loads of different
creative sessions and fun ways to get people playing tennis. We want to have a participation offer, which
is everything from someone who picks up the racket for the very first time, so your ultimate
beginner, all the way through to your elite athlete who’s training full time alongside studying. We are one of the biggest tennis clubs in
the UK, with over 500 members, so although we have our top athletes, we also have a massive
range of players that all come together and socialise. We have over 250 members in the club now,
and all of these players have access to coaching squads if they so wish. If they don’t they
can just come along and do Social Tennis. There are plenty of institutions across the
country that are also engaging with disability tennis players, so that’s wheelchair tennis,
visually impaired tennis. The all around offer for every type of player was fantastic. There’s something for everybody who’s keen
on tennis at university, and whether you are just taking up the game for the first time,
or you are a high level player, or perhaps played at schools, there is something for
you.

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Dennis Veasley

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