Youngsters get a handle on tennis

PUPILS in Year 4 at St Mark’s Primary School in Swanage represented the Purbeck & Christchurch team at the Dorset School Games at Bryanston School in a tennis competition.

The children qualified for the event by taking part in the Purbeck Tennis Competition hosted at Purbeck School and organised by primary link teacher Shelley Hamblin and Purbeck & Christchurch School games organiser Dan Moody.

Olympics gold medal winner Jason Gardener welcomed the youngsters at Bryanston and spoke about his childhood sporting experiences and how events like the School Games had inspired him.

The pupils, who were also given a T-shirt, took part in a morning coaching session which covered all the basic skills, and in the afternoon the team of 10 pupils each played an individual five-minute match.

St Marks PE Lead Paula Davies said: “The children played some fantastic matches, displaying excellent tactical awareness.”

They won nine of their 10 matches with the next highest total achieved being six.

The pupils took part in the Swanage Schools Tennis Tournament, organised by Swanage Tennis Club coach Ryan Tricky, before the school games.

The event took place over five days, allowing pupils from Year 2-6 to compete at the club.

St Mark’s Year 4 children received three weeks of free coaching from the club and won their year group competition at this event.

Headteacher Rebecca Martin said: “We are so proud of the children’s achievements and grateful to Swanage Tennis Club for the opportunities they have provided for the pupils.”

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