Tim Henman Visits Merton School

Star backs Wimbledon Junior Tennis

Tim Henman visited a Merton primary school to spot young sporting talent and give pupils tennis lessons as part of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative.

Set up in 2002 by the Merton School Sport Partnership and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative gives school children in Merton the opportunity to experience tennis in the form of a tennis 'Funday'.

As part of the initiative, Tim Henman helped around 250 pupils with their tennis lessons at Gorringe Park Primary School in Mitcham.

He also helped identify youngsters who have a talent for tennis. Those categorised as gifted and talented will be given the chance to receive further coaching at the All England Club.

Dan Bloxham, Head coach of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and his team deliver the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative 'Fundays' to Merton pupils through the Merton School Sport Partnership. Aimed at Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 pupils, the 'Fundays' are offered to every primary school in the partnership. With every term being over-subscribed, the scheme has seen more than 135,000 children play tennis over the last 11 years.

Merton Council's cabinet member for education, Councillor Martin Whelton said: "I'm delighted that one of our most successful tennis players in Britain, Tim Henman has visited Gorringe Park and inspired pupils to take up tennis. Through the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club working with Merton schools, it has given young people a great opportunity to learn and develop their skills in tennis through the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative."

March 2, 2013