School children inspired by tennis trip to Westminster to play under Big Ben

Watch a video from the day by pressing play above.

Westminster got a taste of Wimbledon today when the Prime Minister David Cameron met some of the two million children given a chance to play tennis as a result of the schools tennis programme run by the Tennis Foundation and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The event was part of a programme of activity to promote tennis as a sport for all ages and abilities, at a time when it takes centre stage for the British public on the eve of The Championships, Wimbledon.

Ten schools from across the country won the chance to play tennis right under Big Ben after entering the Road to Westminster digital competition that gave pupils to opportunity to make a video talking about, and celebrating, the tennis they play in their school.

Michael Downey, Chief Executive of the LTA said: "Our partnership with the Tennis Foundation delivers tennis to thousands of primary, special, and secondary schools across the UK, and is integral to the long term growth of our great game. Next week, Wimbledon will inspire many young people to pick up a racket and play, and we are determined to ensure as many young people as possible have the chance to take part and enjoy tennis in our school system, and make tennis a sport they play throughout their lives."

London 2012 Paralympian Louise Hunt was on hand to inspire the kids and said: "It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm from all the pupils and how much they obviously enjoy playing tennis. Tennis has given me so much travelling the world on the wheelchair tour and I really would say to everyone that there is a version of the sport they can have fun playing. So give it a go this weekend for free at your local venue taking part in the Great British Tennis Weekend."

Isaac Newton Primary School from Lincolnshire won the competition and Head Teacher Paul Hill added: "We're thrilled to have won British Tennis' Road to Westminster competition and bring some of our pupils to play in such an iconic location. The children really love playing tennis at school and thanks to the support of the Tennis Foundation, we have equipment that means we can play indoors or outdoors whenever it suits us. Playing tennis keeps them healthy and also keeps their minds focussed so they perform better in the classroom too."

Primary, special, and secondary schools were invited to create a short video showcasing ways in which their pupils are taking part in tennis, not just by playing but in other ways across the curriculum that engages the whole school community.

This event was also supported by Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, who was part of the video judging panel and joined in the tennis activities with the children.

The competition built on British tennis' Schools Tennis programme, which aims to increase and improve tennis participation in schools, remove barriers by training teachers to deliver a fun, quality tennis experience in confined spaces, and create links to enable young people to continue playing in the community. Since April 2009, the Schools Tennis Programme has supported over 18,000 schools with free teacher training, resources and equipment.

Find out more about the support you can receive from British tennis here.



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