On Thursday 10th September 2015 Wimbledon provided the inspirational backdrop as the Tennis Foundation and Youth Sport Trust announced a three year partnership to extend an exciting social change programme, Beyond the Baseline, to 150 secondary schools and 1,500 young people over the next three years.
Kingsbury High School students were involved in the first year of the programme which saw Paralympic Wheelchair tennis player, Louise Hunt, visit Kingsbury High over three sessions to mentor and coach students selected for the programme.
To mark the end of a successful year and to announce the extension of Beyond the Baseline, two Kingsbury High School Year 10 students, Jaysal Halai and Ria Tanna, along with students from other schools, were invited to a special celebration at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The invited guests, who also included Beyond the Baseline mentors and dignitaries from the Tennis Foundation, Wimbledon and Youth Sports Trust, heard about the benefits of the programme, followed by lunch and a tour of Wimbledon.
Geoff Newton, Executive Director of the Tennis Foundation, said “Beyond the Baseline is a ground-breaking programme that demonstrates the power of tennis to improve the lives of young people across Great Britain. We’re thrilled to be rolling out Beyond the Baseline to even more schools and to continue our close partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.”
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “We are delighted to grow our relationship with the Tennis Foundation, combining the Youth Sport Trust’s considerable experience in raising achievement and athlete mentoring with the power of tennis and the inspiration of elite players.
“This is a truly inspirational programme, using the power of sport to change these young people’s lives for the better. Beyond the Baseline is a great way to help young people reach their potential both on and off the court.”
At Thursday’s event Jaysal and Ria were called up to the stage to be interviewed by Sky Sports Presenter, Jane Dougall. Ria said “The best part of Beyond the Baseline was learning all the leadership skills for leading primary school students and then actually putting all of it into practice.
“It was inspirational listening to Louise and hearing her story. She didn’t let being in a wheelchair stop her from following her dreams.”