23 February 2021 | Tennis West

Partnering with Healthway and in conjunction with Cancer Council WA and Headspace Geraldton, Tennis West will steer a six-week Play and Stay in Tennis initiative with students from the Geraldton Flexible Learning Centre (GFLC).

Acting as an alternative education option in the Midwest region, GFLC students from year seven to nine will take part in the six-week program at the Tarcoola Park Tennis Club (Geraldton).

Targeting declining participation rates within tennis, particularly as children transition into young adults, on-court activities will be delivered by SunCity Tennis Academy.

In addition, the Cancer Council WA and Headspace Geraldton will host off-court presentations, highlighting the physical, emotional and social importance of developing and maintaining connections with local sporting clubs.

Principal of GFLC, Heather Brett, says the program is important for the students, given many of them have not experienced structured sporting lessons in the past.

“Participation in sport and physical activities, with the associated health and wellbeing programs, is of great benefit to all young people but particularly for these young people who engage well with small group, direct, experiential learning”

“It will give opportunity for them to consider joining local sporting clubs and groups, something previously not afforded to them”

“We look forward to our young people gaining success in the program and also developing strong personal outcomes such as increased self esteem and confidence with attempting new skills and to quite possibly discover the next Evonne Goolagong or Nick Kyrgios,” Brett said.

Working to engage students of all ages and abilities and to create an inclusive tennis culture is Tennis West Regional North Lead, Craig Vinci, who says that connecting school aged players with tennis aims to develop pathways for retained adult social play.

“Connecting students with tennis clubs and having them experience a club facility in a safe environment aims to contribute to breaking down the daunting barrier of stepping into the club environment for the first time,”

“We hope that by doing so, the students will feel more comfortable in approaching and engaging with clubs outside of school time and will help to continue their involvement whilst expanding their network of friends for life,” Vinci said.

Proud supporter of the Play and Stay initiative, Headspace Geraldton, says that being active, trying new things and making connections are powerful ways for young people to develop and maintain good mental health.

“We think it is great that Tennis West and the Geraldton Flexible Learning Centre are using the sport as a way to help teach young people about mental health and build a positive association with the support services available to them,” Headspace Geraldton said.

For information about Headspace Geraldton head to:

For more information about Cancer Council WA head to:

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About GFLC

In its 11th year of operation, GFLC acts as an alternative option for education in the Midwest region. The school works alongside government and non-government agencies that engage in positive outcomes for youth. The school celebrates unique characters of young secondary students through programs meeting their individual needs with small group learning, service provision from teachers, youth workers and learning experiences which supports their social and emotional needs along with academic requirements as a part of the Edmund Rice Education Australia’s national initiative.

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