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TENNIS - Peter Symonds wins national award for its tennis programme...

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Winner of the BTA Further Education Tennis Award

Representatives from Peter Symonds Sports and Activities Department were amongst the twenty one category winners gathered in the British Tennis Suite at the O2 arena to collect the British Tennis Award (BTA) for Further Education.  The winners were then able to watch some of the world's best players in action in the Doubles and Singles of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. They were all disappointed however not to meet Andy Murray, himself a prize winner and recipient of the 2013 AEGON Player of the Year Award; he was unable to attend due to recent back surgery.

Sam Ball, Sport and Activities Co-ordinator, received the College’s trophy - the Further Education Tennis Award - from Peter Bretherton, the LTA President (Lawn Tennis Association).  Peter Symonds won this award in recognition of the expansion of tennis provision at the College over the last twelve months which has enabled even more students to pick up a racket and play.  College Sports Maker, Kitty Yarwood, has worked with Hampshire LTA to develop a link with Winchester Racquets and Fitness, boosting the number of recreational players aged 16-19 years.

“As a result of our links with the Hampshire LTA and Winchester Racquets and Fitness,” says Kitty, “tennis has become a popular activity on the College’s activities timetable.” She adds, “The ‘Back To Tennis’ and ‘Short Tennis’ sessions have resulted in many more students playing regularly for recreation.  This is in addition to the strong College Tennis team, who are looking to replicate the spectacularly successful season they had last year.”

The Further Education Tennis Award recognises and rewards Further Education colleges that have demonstrated innovation in teaching and learning, the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle through tennis and helping to get more young people playing tennis more often. Nomination was considered against the following criteria:

Increasing the number of young people participating in high quality tennis opportunities or using tennis as a catalyst for learning, through innovative thinking and provision in one or more of the following areas: curriculum / sport study programme; enrichment programme; competition; leadership and volunteering; workforce development.

Growing tennis participation in the student population and leading to an increase in the number of students participating weekly.

Peter Symonds submission
Each year the College hosts Sports Trials for its Tennis Team. Local talent sees most players with an average rating below 7.1. This year’s team sees a selection of players with ratings from 7.1 – 3.2. All train and play regularly and are coached by our local club. This link has helped increase participation, sustainability and offer opportunities for more students to take up tennis.

Due to the high ratings of the college team, the tennis team is one of the strongest in the county. During the last academic year the team had 27 players in total. They entered various competitions with AEGON, British Colleges and Hampshire Senior Students Competition. Both our male and female teams got through to the AEGON Nationals Finals, something Peter Symonds has not achieved before. This was a fantastic achievement.

In addition to the Tennis Team, the college also caters for those wanting to improve. Those who do not make it into the Tennis Team become part of the Development Squad and are able to train every week at the local club with a highly skilled tennis coach.

Last year, the College Sports Maker began working closely with the LTA Tennis Development Manager for the South East. Through this partnership, the college hosted a ‘Back To Tennis’ course, an after college Recreational Tennis session and Touch Tennis during the summer period. This saw over 50 students getting back into Tennis and playing regularly. As part of getting more people volunteering in tennis, the college hosted a Tennis Activators Course. Sixteen students completed the course and went on to help deliver after college sessions and within local schools. During the summer, the college also hosted a Summer Fun Day where the LTA brought pop up nets and touch tennis equipment to showcase how fun the sport is and get people into playing.

Further information from Zara Breckell or Demelsa Healey Tel 01962 857553

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