Henley Tennis Club on Friday afternoon played host to an exhilarating tennis competition involving three local primary schools – Badgemore, Trinity, and Sacred Heart. The event was the second of its kind, and marked the third year of delivering free tennis coaching to children in the Henley area.
Over the past five weeks, more than 300 children from Years 3, 4, and 5 at Badgemore, Trinity, Sacred Heart, and Valley Road have received free tennis coaching during their PE classes. The total number of children benefiting from this initiative has now crossed the 900 mark!
Friday’s finals day witnessed Trinity emerging victorious in both Year 3 and Year 5 categories, while Sacred Heart claimed the Year 4 title. The fantastic afternoon of tennis was rounded off with a game of ‘bobsleigh’, which was first introduced to Henley Tennis Club’s Head Coach, Tom Scott, by tennis legend, Judy Murray!
The event was funded by Tennis Oxfordshire, and Andrew Broadhurst, Chairman of Tennis Oxfordshire, came along to support. He emphasized the importance of getting kids involved in tennis from an early age, stating, “It’s all about grassroots tennis – how do we get kids trying it in schools to start with, coming together as teams, competing in a fun way? It’s all about them having fun, playing as a team with their classmates, it’s brilliant. As Tennis Oxfordshire we’ve supported Tom to do that this year.”
Andrew was so impressed by the event that he is looking to grow it further, using it as a blueprint for a countywide initiative. The aim is to culminate in a county festival finals, and with any luck, it may even evolve into a national initiative.
The driving force behind this initiative is Henley Tennis Club’s Head Coach, Tom, who expressed his joy at delivering free tennis sessions to another 300 children. Reflecting on the success of the event, Tom shared, “It has been a pleasure to deliver the free coaching to another 300 children and this finals day has capped off another great event. The children showed great teamwork and sportsmanship. Thank you Henley Town Council and Tennis Oxfordshire for their support without which this initiative would not take place. Thanks must also go to my coaching Team Levi McAndrew Brown and Tom Francis who helped run today. I am now looking forward to delivering further in school sessions and growing the event.”