Almost 100 students from Flinders Island District High School have experienced a range of tennis activities as part of a Tennis Tasmania trip to the Bass Strait Island in November.
Tennis Tasmania North and North West Regional Lead Phoebe Davis described her recent time spent on the island as a personal highlight of 2020.
“Through our partnership with Sporting Schools and the school nominating tennis as their sport of choice, we were able to deliver a program in curriculum time to students from grade one through to grade ten,” she said.
“There’s a great tennis court at the school, but due to some inclement weather we used the indoor gym facilities most of the time.”
With tennis being well-received by students, Davis was able to introduce students to the newly-launched Team Tennis program outside of school time on the recently completed tennis and netball court at the Sports and RSL Club in Whitemark.
“There was a strong number of upper-primary students, so we ran an afternoon session of Team Tennis for them,” she said.
“Team Tennis is a program we’ve introduced throughout Tasmania for primary school students in the last six months, which focuses on teamwork and tennis fundamentals using mini nets and a modified environment.”
“The new court at Whitemark was great, and I also checked out the two historic courts at the Lady Barron Tennis Club in the south of the island.”
Physical education teacher Justin Graham says the visit has sparked a positive response from the students.
“Since Phoebe’s visit and her fantastic program, there has been a solid group of six or more students playing tennis variations on the court before school and during lunchtime,” he said.
“In regards to a school and community connection, I believe tennis is a sport that can be very successful over here.”
“I feel that, with the students being so eager to play, they will also encourage their parents to become involved.”
With the school falling under the banner of the Northern Midlands Primary School Association, Davis is hopeful that students will be able to participate in the red-ball teams competition held in Launceston each year.
“I spoke with Justin about bringing a team over to compete in 2021 and we’d love to see that happen,” she said.
“We are also in discussions with the local council about the possibility of running a school holiday program and how we can assist there.”
“The sense of the community on Flinders is amazing, and they enjoyed their tennis; I’m looking forward to seeing how the sport grows there in the future.”
Sporting Schools, an Australian Government initiative, aims to help schools increase participation in junior sport, and to connect students with community sporting opportunities.
For further information on how schools can access the Sporting Schools program, click HERE or contact your local Tennis Tasmania team member.