This term, our Nursery children have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take part in weekly tennis lessons, run by our coach Angie Gunn. Angie secured the funding for the sessions through Herts Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in order to encourage younger pupils to become interested in the sport. Angie says: "I was struggling to get numbers for Tennis4Minis (pre-school sessions at Cassiobury Tennis Club) this year due to the high number of children now being in full-time nursery, so the funding was agreed as it wasn't an age they had targeted before."
So far she has completed five weeks with the children, with a taster session still to be arranged at the beginning of next term for the new intake of Nursery children. As you can see from the photos, the children have had a brilliant time, the Nursery staff were very impressed with their skills...I think we have some budding Wimbledon stars in the making!
Angie taught the three and four year olds a variety of different techniques and skills to help the children with their tennis; Nursery staff also participated in the sessions so that they could develop their knowledge in relation to introducing and supporting young children in this sport.
Here are some of the tennis skills that the children practised:
Balancing a ball on different parts of their body - children were encouraged to just drop the ball and then put their hands underneath to catch it, bending their knees
‘Knees to trees’ - when throwing to a partner
They used a racket to push a ball to their partner, stop and then send it back – ‘tap and trap’; they then used a racket to dribble the ball to an opposite cone and back by themselves
Children had 3 cones each, they threw a ball over the net to their partner, aiming for the three cones
‘Around the world’ – balance a ball on a racket and roll it around the edge of the racket without dropping it
Bounce the ball on the racket into the air
"A racket is for hitting the ball; and we passed the ball gently to the other person. I'm good at tennis!" (Nana-Yaw)
"I like tennis because I like hitting balls - if you tap it down and it comes back up, you hit it back down again." (Jasmin)
"I did tapping - we need to tap the ball down with the racket." (Nina)