The Bunbury Tennis Inclusion Day will hit the courts of the Bunbury Tennis Club on Friday 26 March with more than 150 mainstream and education support students taking part in the round robin competition.
Years four to six mainstream, education support and Autism program students from Cooinda (Bunbury) and South Bunbury primary schools came together to compete in mixed teams of eight. Nominated as team captains, the education support and Autism program students were responsible for coordinating and leading the teams for the day.
Delivered as part of Tennis Australia’s three-year partnership with the Movement Disorder Foundation (MDF), and working with specialist and mainstream schools with special education units, the South West initiative aims to strengthen the confidence of students with disabilities whilst encouraging them to get more active.
Thanks to Sport Aus and the Sporting Schools funding made available for private coaches to deliver specialist programs, the event comes as a culmination to five weeks of in school tennis coaching by Tennis Excellence coaches, Andrew Woodward and Josh Grace.
Tennis West Schools Development Coordinator, Carina McMillen, says the Bunbury Tennis Inclusion Day event was a wonderful opportunity to get students of all abilities on court for what was a great day for both tennis and inclusion.
‘We’re really loved holding the Bunbury Tennis Inclusion Day on Friday,’
‘The event was first run in 2019 with about 60 mainstream and special education students from South Bunbury Primary School and it was so well received that it was planned as an ongoing event,’
‘Unfortunately the impact of the pandemic meant we were unable to host the 2020 event so were thrilled to see the kids on court at the Bunbury Tennis Club last week,’
‘The significant growth in participation numbers reflects the demand for inclusive activities in sports and highlights the need to ensure these opportunities are ongoing,’
‘Sport Aus data continues to show tennis as the number one sport requested and delivered in schools so it’s wonderful to see the impacts and outcomes of the funding and programs,’
‘The day was a wonderful opportunity for the students from Cooinda and South Bunbury primary schools to showcase the skills they’d been learning with Andrew and Josh from Tennis Excellence and to further highlight that tennis really is a sport for everyone,’ McMillen said.
To find out more about how Tennis embraces diversity and aims to make the sport welcoming, safe and inclusive for everyone, head to www.tennis.com.au/play/inclusion-and-diversity
To find out more about Sporting Schools funding, head to https://www.sportaus.gov.au/schools
South Bunbury Primary School was named ‘Most Outstanding School’ at the 2019 WA Tennis Industry Awards Night. The award was given in recognition of the school’s commitment to leadership in the delivery of tennis in schools, and for the dedication to ensuring tennis as an accessible sport for all.