In September of this year we were delighted to welcome three new programmes, in Rotherham, Dudley and Hythe. The first two sites are under the Premier Tennis banner, which is very ably managed by Jeff Hunter, and join Jeff’s other programmes in Oxford, Northampton and Sheffield, which also receive funding from GIYM. Hythe is managed by Nick Skelton, who has extensive experience within the region, having worked in Hythe area for many years. The involvement of Jeff and Nick mean that all three sites are in very capable and experienced hands indeed and the new programmes takes the total of GIYM programmes countrywide to twenty-two.
The Hythe programme is off to a flying start, with children from Hythe Bay School already benefitting from weekly tennis sessions. Coach Nick Skelton, along with his team, aims to work with four schools in the first year, with further schools be added in future.
The Hythe programme gets underway…
HSBC Wimbledon Championship Junior Clinic
On the first Thursday of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, no less than thirty GIYM primary school children attended a very special coaching clinic held on Court 20, courtesy of The Wimbledon Foundation and HSBC. Judy Murray and GIYM Patron, Tim Henman, spent time sharing their skills with a number of delighted eight and nine year olds representing primary schools from our Merton and Lewisham programmes. The day was highly enjoyable and we are very grateful to HSBC, Judy and Tim for giving the children such a wonderful tennis experience.
Judy and Tim spend quality time with local school children…
Our congratulations go to 10-year-old Lucas Town from Huddersfield. With help from GIYM and the Tennis Foundation (“TF”) Lucas had the opportunity to play at the Junior Wheelchair National Event, which took place in Nottingham during the summer. GIYM and the TF are into year three of a five-year programme that aims to provide opportunities to disabled children to enjoy competitive tennis. Lucas, who has cerebral palsy, started playing tennis just last year as a result of the GIYM/TF programme and was one of the youngest players taking part in the event.
Our partnership with the Tennis Foundation continues to go from strength to strength. In the summer months Valence School in Westerham, one of the schools benefitting from the partnership, enjoyed a visit and coaching session from GB Para Olympian Louise Hunt. Louise spent the entire day at the school, enabling 15 children to benefit from a wonderful experience. There are now 15 SEN schools involved in this wonderful programme.
Children from Valence School enjoying the Coaching Clinic with Louise Hunt…
Measuring our Impact
In September 2017 GIYM committed to a significant research project, hiring Britain Thinks, a leading insight and strategy company which specialises in assisting organisations such as GIYM to better understand the impact its programmes, including how these might be improved going forward. The three month project will include surveys and questionnaires to be sent to all those connected to the programme – coaches, parents, schools and most importantly the children. Britain Thinks will also be visiting three of our sites, Edgbaston Priory, Oxford and Lewisham, and will contact those people involved with our programme. Our findings will be shared widely in due course.
GIYM Mini Orange Tournament
This year the annual GIYM mini orange tournament will be held at our Lewisham site, in celebration of the opening of newly laid courts at Ladywell Fields. The tournament has been delayed slightly due to the installation of floodlights on the new courts, but we do now have a date and the tournaments will take place on Sunday 29th April 2018.