Improving sporting provision for pupils is a number one priority at King Edward’s Witley.
The School secured the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA*) recognition and validation and has recently secured an LTA partner, Premier Tennis, to work with world class professional sports specialists. The aim of the partnership is to help raise the standard of the School’s coaching and strengthen competitive tennis.
Mr Phil Miller, Director of Sport, and Mr Jim Langan, teacher in charge of Tennis at King Edward’s, visited the All England Lawn Tennis Club in February at the invitation of James Auckland of Premier Tennis. James is a former professional tennis played with career highlights including representing Great Britain in the Davis Cup, playing in Grand Slam tournaments, including the Wimbledon Championships, and reaching an ATP doubles rank 57, on occasions teaming up with Andy Murray. James’s focus is now on developing tennis for all ages through an integrated coaching methodology that engages players the same way as when he coached Wimbledon Champions Jamie Murray and Jonathan Marray.
James visited King Edward’s Witley to coach a tennis workshop with pupils. This day was the final seal of a new partnership at a time when King Edward’s is stepping up its tennis activities for all ages and plans to maximise the use of its 15 tennis courts. The partnership will provide training opportunities for an elite group of school tennis players and widen King Edward’s participation in competitive tennis for all player levels.
King Edward’s became a Lawn Tennis Association registered tennis venue, ‘King Edward’s School Tennis Club’ in 2017, providing all pupils access to free British Tennis membership, and has enabled the School to run LTA tournaments which qualify players for a British national rating and ranking, with added advantage of access to Wimbledon tickets.
Twelve King Edward’s U14 players, who began playing competitive tennis last year, have entered the 2019 Road to Wimbledon. If successful they will play in the final round on grass at Wimbledon. This year the School will compete in the National Schools Championship with boys competing in the Glanville Cup, and girls the Aberdare Cup. Mr Langan said, “The pupils are excited for the professional, specialist coaching they will receive from the summer term, and hope their training will lead to successful wins”.
In a more informal competitive environment King Edward’s International Baccalaureate pupils are staging an international ‘Davis Cup’ tournament for charity this summer.
Phil Miller, Director of Sport at King Edward’s Witley, said “Working in partnership with reputable external sports providers is key to enhancing our elite performers’ development as well as inspiring those who wish to experience a sport for the first time. Our link with the LTA and Premier Tennis will expand the variety and regularity of tennis competition within the School, which in turn will enhance the growth and success of our tennis programme.”