Kids across Australia are set to move more, improve their skills and come up with their own creative tennis games with the launch of HomeCourtTennis, a new initiative to assist teachers and coaches with keeping kids active while at home.
Part one of the initiative, Games-making, will be introduced across the country this week via a series of videos for teachers and coaches. The content will support teachers in their physical education classes as they shift to distance learning, while coaches will use the material to remain connected to their players.
Games-making is designed to encourage students to create their own tennis games using various equipment from around their home environment, whether that is their lounge room, kitchen, bedroom, backyard, garage or driveway.
Tennis Australia, Flinders University and The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) recently produced a peer reviewed research paper exploring this concept of games-making*. It revealed the opportunity for coaches and teachers to challenge players and students to problem-solve, be creative and to design their own tennis games based on their choice and ability.
“With so many kids currently at home, it’s more important than ever to keep them active, motivated and engaged,” Tennis Australia Chief Tennis Officer Matt Dwyer said.
“HomeCourtTennis has been designed to increase children’s physical activity as well as develop a range of skills, regardless of their playing space and equipment. For instance, kids may choose to use a balloon instead of a tennis ball and position two chairs together as a net – as you will see in these videos, anywhere can be a tennis court.
“Even more importantly, Games-making is designed to play to the individual strengths of each child, emphasising what they can do, and what they want to do, rather than what they can’t do – there are no limitations and we encourage them to get creative.
“HomeCourtTennis will provide a meaningful way for coaches and teachers to stay connected with their players and students during this challenging time.”
“Games-making also offers the opportunity for parents and children to play together at home and enjoy tennis as a game for all generations,” he added.
“In these times of social distancing, it is more important than ever to keep children engaged and involved in physical activity,” Tennis SA CEO Debbie Sterrey said.
“Alongside Tennis Australia, we are excited to release the HomeCourtTennis program for coaches and teachers, providing a way for them to remain connected to with their students during this difficult time.
“With many children currently at home, HomeCourtTennis provides resources encouraging children to be active and create their own games within their home environment.
“Whilst there is so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we are fortunate that tennis courts in South Australia can remain open in some capacity, subject to strict social distancing and hygiene practices being implemented.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation and look forward to getting everyone back on court again soon,” she added.
Tennis Australia will share inspiration and creative ideas from HomeCourtTennis on its social media and digital channels.
Children can learn more about Games-making by getting in touch with their local tennis coach or teacher.
*Pill, S., Hewitt, M., & Baldock, R. (2020). Driveway Tennis: An Example of Sport Teaching via Games Making in Net/Court Games, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 91:2, pp.18-23.