Coaches' Corner is a blog from the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative. This month’s instalment is a recap on the annual WJTI Teachers Evening.
Friday 21 March saw 40 teachers attend the WJTI Teachers Evening at the AELTC. The annual event offers all primary school teachers in Merton the opportunity to learn about ABC’s from the AELTC Head Coach, Dan Bloxham and the WJTI Squad, and gain an understanding of the standards it is possible to achieve with this age group.
Children as young as 5 years old greeted the teachers as they arrived on court and proceeded to display their tennis skills. The teachers were not only impressed with their racket skills, but also their understanding and knowledge of how the agility, balance and coordination exercises help to develop their tennis playing ability. All the Squad children were able to teach the teachers how to deliver these skills to their pupils. The confidence and teaching skills on display from the Squad certainly surprised many of the teachers.
As well as trying out the physical, technical and tactical skills the teachers were treated to a tour of the AELTC by Dan that included Centre Court, Courts 2 & 3, the Changing Rooms and the Press Interview Room. The tour was described by one teacher as “a jaw dropping opportunity.” It is hoped that events such as these help the local schools to feel a part of both WJTI and the AELTC and in doing so will be able to support the children selected to join the initiative.
The evening was also attended by the Mayor of Merton, Krystal Miller who came on court to test her skills, and Tennis Surrey were also there to promote their schools tennis competitions. As a follow up to this evening the teachers were all offered the chance to participate in the Tennis Foundation’s School Tennis Training. However, there is always a downside, the training involves delivering a DVD which Dan wrote and ‘starred’ in!