Shrewsbury College launched a new Tennis Academy in partnership with The Shrewsbury Club and in association with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) back in September 2013 to cater for the growing demand for the sport, following on from a summer of British Wimbledon and Olympic success.
In the light of Andy Murray’s widespread popularity and success, it was hoped that the new Academy would encourage college-wide participation in the sport and have a positive impact on academic achievement – which has certainly proven to be the case.
“We have 17 enthusiastic students who attend every week. It provides students with the opportunity to learn a new sport and socialise with individuals from other subject areas,” explained Sam Heseltine, Sports Lecturer at the College.
“They are coached by Level 4 Head Coach Nigel Hunter, who has 18 years’ experience, and all tennis equipment is provided by the Academy and it is free to attend for those selected. All players are working towards their ‘Tennis Leaders Certificate’ whilst developing their own skills and coaching abilities,” continued Sam.
“We are extremely lucky to be able to use facilities of such a high standard and the staff at the club have been very welcoming.”
Ben Simmons, 17, Sport student from Shrewsbury College said: “I have never had the chance to get involved in tennis before despite loving the sport, so being part of the Tennis Academy is fantastic.
“I am proud to have been selected as a Tennis Ambassador, and hope that this experience will be a stepping stone towards a career as a tennis coach.”
Sport student, Peter Barratt, 16, has also progressed to become a Tennis Ambassador. He said: “The facilities available to us at the Academy are great, and I think the relationship the college has with The Shrewsbury Club has a good impact on our learning experiences.
“I really enjoy tennis and getting the chance to play weekly. I hope to progress through the levels and gain a career in coaching.”
Nigel Hunter, Tennis Director at The Shrewsbury Club said; “This first year project has been a fantastic success, with all the students here gaining a qualification. Most of the students involved hadn’t played tennis before or had very little experience, so we are proud to offer this valuable opportunity.”
“Our aim as a leading tennis provider is to inspire players to coach whilst sharing our passion for the sport. As well as having two students who are now Tennis Ambassadors we have one student progressing onto the ‘Tennis Futures’ scheme where he has received kit, tuition and coaching and will have his Level 1 Tennis Coach partially funded by the LTA.
“We are seeing great results at the Academy and our hope is that it will continue to grow next year.”
The Academy is open to 16 to 18 year old students at Shrewsbury College and students can opt to play recreationally or compete at a county or regional level. Training takes place at the prestigious tennis courts of The Shrewsbury Club on Sundorne Road.
In addition to the Academy, there are plans being formulated to offer tennis Apprenticeships next year via a partnership between the College, The Shrewsbury Club, and Inspire2Coach.
For more information about Sport courses at Shrewsbury College please call 01743 342333 or visit www.shrewsbury.ac.uk for more information about The Shrewsbury Club please visit www.theshrewburyclub.co.uk
Member since: 22nd November 2013
Shrewsbury College on London Road, Shrewsbury offers full time, part time, and vocational courses in further and higher education. We are a friendly and inclusive College where students feel comfortable...