Road Show 2014 - As it Happens

The 2014 event kicks off in Bolton on 25th February and finishes at the home of tennis, the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, on 20th March.

Keep updated here from the Tennis Foundation Education Team as they blog from across the country and find out who they meet on the way.

Day 16 - Roehampton

Total Mileage Count: 1,807

After 15 days, and more than 450 school sport staff, teachers and coaches the Schools Tennis Road Show finally arrived at the home of British tennis: the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Another fun Road Show tops off another great year – our sixth in total with more than 3,500 teachers and school sport staff attending since the Road Shows started in 2009!

Unfortunately, that's you lot for another year as the Team head off to sunnier climates... Paul's off on belated honeymoon and Tom's heading to Devon. Unfortunately, there's no rest for Phil as he's putting everything he's learnt (off Paul and Tom!) over the past four weeks into practice by going into deliver tennis in schools across the Wirral!

Don't forget you can keep up-to-date with all things schools tennis here.

Day 15 - Hatfield

Mileage Count: 1,778

The penultimate Road Show of 2014 saw the team at David Lloyd, Hatfield – a former airplane hangar!

Entries for our Road to Westminster competition are starting to flood in – don't forget to enter your school or encourage your local cluster schools to get involved and ten lucky schools will win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play tennis under Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament in London!

All schools have to do is create a short video showcasing ways in which their pupils are taking part in tennis – the deadline is Friday 4th April so make sure your entries are in before then!

Day 14 - Cambridge

Mileage Count: 1,737 

After a restful night in a traditional English Pub in the Cambridgeshire countryside (that of course serves traditional Thai food) the Team headed to the always efficient and organised David Lloyd Cambridge.

During Tom's fun-packed off-court session, he talks about the opportunities for schools to join the Schools Tennis Membership Scheme.

Amongst the many benefits – including access the Schools' Wimbledon Ticket Ballot, promotional materials and a discounted online equipment shop – schools can also apply for a small grant of up to £500 to support the provision of tennis in their school. Well, guess what – the scheme is now open! Interested or know a school that might be? Find out more information here.

Day 13 - Wrexham

Mileage Count: 1,574 

Every so often comes a day when you wish you could just start again! For Phil, today was that day.

As with any 'Road Show' an integral part is the van – it helps you get from A to B, it carries the equipment, the branding and the delegate packs. It must be looked after and cared for. But not today as 'Inflatable Phil' decides to reserve the van into a grass verge causing tens of pounds worth of damage. It was wasn't for Mafia Craig – the Mob Boss of Wrexham – the final leg of the 2014 Road Show could have been in jeopardy!

Amongst the chaos the team were delighted to be joined by local Ian Lucas MP who spoke to delegates and thanked them for attending before dashing off to Westminster with a copy of the Guide to Schools Tennis 2014 under his arm!

Wrexham Schools Tennis Road Show Van

Day 12 - Batley

Mileage Count: 1,476

A brilliant day in Batley – with the biggest numbers at a Road Show event so far – was a great way to finish off week three of the Schools Tennis Road Show 2014.

The delegates definitely got into the competitive spirit on-court with some decidedly tense matches as part of the timed tennis competition they took part in!

The day was only soured by Tom losing his car! But after a good two hour hunt, he found it! On a completely separate note it was great to be joined by several fun-loving colleagues from the Tennis Foundation...

Day 11 - Sunderland

Mileage Count: 1,374

A special guest joined the Schools Tennis Road Show today with Ivan Lendl joining teachers and school sport staff at Sunderland Tennis Centre.

Interestingly, as well as coaching Andy Murray, Ivan moonlights as a School Games Organiser in the North East! Who'd have thought it! See what he thought of today's Road Show in the video of the right hand-side of this page.

Day 10 - Glasgow

Mileage Count: 1,197

A frosty start for the Team in Glasgow today but it wasn't a frosty reception from the teachers, coaches and Local Authority staff that attended today's Road Show amd really got stuck in.

Tennis Scotland has worked really hard over the last few years in partnership with Active Schools Teams and schools themselves to increase the number of schools and pupils taking part in inter schools tennis competitions.

More than 54,000 pupils now take part in both primary and secondary schools tennis competitions across Great Britain and there's lots of support and resource available to help you run your own schools tennis competitions.

And it was great to have photographer Mark Nouillan with us today, check out the speed this attendee clocked below! 

Schools Tennis Road Show Glasgow

Day 9 - Edinburgh

Mileage Count: 1,151

So, we're into Week 3 already and the Team find themselves in sunny Scotland with an enthusiastic group of teachers and Active Schools Coordinators at the home of Tennis Scotland – Craiglockheart Tennis Centre!

Our Head of Education's slightly odd obsession with farms sees him have last night's dinner and today's lunch at farm-based service stations and he's even booked the Team in to a hotel at a farm!

It doesn't matter that we're staying an hour away from tomorrow's Road Show venue because there's a lovely view... of a field! But all is okay because he's away for a few days leaving the dream team of P&P (Paul & Phil) to deliver the rest of this week's Road Shows.

Day 8 - Cardiff

Mileage Count: 751

The team reached the half-way point after today's Road Show in Cardiff – eight down, eight to go! And we had some special guests today from Tennis Wales and very special colleagues from the Tennis Foundation. 

To prepare for today's Road Show the Team took in a bit of culture, well that's if you count football as culture! The Wales vs Iceland international friendly finished in an enthralling 3-1 with some pretty impressive skill from a certain Gareth Bale. Nice to see Tennis Wales leading the way with their welcome – other LTA County Teams take note!

After a Friday back at the day job and a weekend of rest and recuperation (it's all too much for Paul who's off to the physio!), the Team head to Scotland and the North next week with Road Shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sunderland and Batley.

Day 7 - Bristol

Mileage Count: 706

A busy day in Bristol saw more than 75 teachers and coaches descend on David Lloyd Long Ashton for both the Schools Tennis Road Show and also a local LTA Coaches Forum.

A big theme for this year's Road Show is how we can help schools and local tennis venues build strong links to support pupils to take part in tennis both at school and in their community. A small group of local coaches are attending each Road Show to develop links with their local schools and the Tennis Foundation and LTA are investing in over 200 Tennis Satellite Clubs across Great Britain over the next four years. We're also involved in the Premier League 4 Sport programme and 16 Football Clubs are delivering tennis as part of their activity!

Day 6 - Exeter

Mileage Count: 626

Day 6 saw the Team at the impressive new sports facilities at Exeter University with a great group of delegates, although a late night for Phil Leighton (Winchester to Exeter via London!) saw him in a miserable mood! That said, no one seemed to notice much difference from every other day!

One delegate fed back that after attending last year's Road Show, she'd introduced Cardio Tennis with her disengaged girls in Years 10 and 11 and they've loved it! This year she plans to take the timed tennis competition format back to school and is hoping for similar success with pupils from all year groups.

Day 5 - Winchester

Mileage Count: 506

The first Road Show of Week 2 saw two of the team (the remainder taking part in an Education Festival at the National Tennis Centre to celebrate World Tennis Day) arrive in a wet and windy Winchester at a new venue for 2014, Winchester Rackets and Fitness Club. Phil stepped up to the plate and did a great job of presenting the off court session (see him in action in the photo below).

The 31 teachers, school sport staff and coaches were also joined by local MP Steve Brine, a big tennis fan and advocate of the Tennis Foundation's work to engage more schools and pupils in the game.

Steve spoke to the group and championed the Road to Westminster schools digital competition, encouraging them to get involved by submitting a short video about what tennis means to their pupils. Ten schools will be chosen by a judging panel made up of Parliamentarians, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and the British Tennis Youth Group and invited to play tennis under Big Ben in London in June! Interested? Find out more about entering the competition here.

Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Day 4 - Coventry

Mileage Count: 395

The final Road Show of Week 1 saw the team being sent to Coventry before heading home for the weekend!

"Inflatable Phil" (tutor Phil Leighton's nickname due to the inflatable tennis equipment he provides and nothing else!) certainly had that Friday feeling – regaling the group of the time he once worked in a school way back in 1995 ahead of his practical session highlighting some key teaching points on grips, stance and different shots. The Team have tended to stay away from providing too much technical guidance at Road Shows before, but feedback from last year was that teachers would value spending a short time building up their confidence and knowledge – no-one can say we don't give the people what they want!

Day 3 - Leicester

Mileage Count: 370

A late night of work for two of the team, with one (again) missing in action, didn’t stop us delivering another fun-packed day for the people of Leicestershire.

The off-court session once again runs the delegates through the new Guide to Schools Tennis, which provides an overview of all the support and resource available for schools from the Tennis Foundation and LTA.

This year’s Guide to Schools Tennis provides schools with a ‘Self Review’ Tool for primary, special and secondary schools to audit their current provision and provide further ideas on how to engage all young people in the great sport of tennis! Why not give it a go?

Day 2 – Dudley

Mileage Count: 312

Dudley is famous for many things [opens web browser and Googles "What is Dudley famous for?"] ...such as being one of the largest towns in Britain without city status, the Dudley Opera House burning down in 1936 and being the birth place of "Big Sam" Allardyce but one thing not on Wikipedia is the ability of Dudley's PE teachers to come up with excellent tennis related team names!

Today's on-court activity saw the 'Boris Beckers Than You' (Get it? Better!) take a two-nil win against the 'Who the Deuces are you?' in our informal competition session which provides lots of ideas and progression for delivering competition through tennis in PE lessons or part of out of school hours activity, such as breakfast, lunchtime or after school clubs.

The bar has been raised for the PE teachers and school sport professionals of Leicester as we head there for Day 3 tomorrow! 

Day 1 – Bolton

Mileage Count: 218 

You'll be familiar with the movie Groundhog Day – well, we're back in our own version of this classic Bill Murray movie for the next four weeks but the good news is... We love it!

A great start to the 2014 Schools Tennis Road Shows in Bolton with over 35 teachers, coaches and school sport staff was only soured by the Team being thrown out of the local Marks & Spencer's whilst eating a spot of lunch! Bit of a misunderstanding but let's not point the finger at anyone... 

In all seriousness, this year's Road Show is full of new ideas and resources to support teachers to inspire their pupils that tennis is for them. You'll hear a lot more about what we're delivering so stay tuned to this blog over the next few days and weeks.

And if you get the chance, check out the hash tag #schoolstennis on Twitter – there's lots of great pictures already and some nice feedback from some of our attendees.

Next stop Dudley!

Schools Tennis Road Show Dudley 2014
One of our brilliant tutors Phil Leighton in action on the Road Show


Video - Sunderland 2014

Hear from attendee Paul Woodall at the Sunderland Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Glasgow 2014

Hear from attendee Ian Cannon at the Glasgow Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Edinburgh 2014

Hear from attendee Ruth Henderson at the Edinburgh Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Bristol 2014

Hear from attendee Hannah Williams at the Bristol Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Exeter 2014

Hear from Tennis Development Manager Georgina Loosemore at the Exeter Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Leicester 2014

Hear from attendee Alan Mitchell at the Leicester Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Dudley 2014

Hear from tutor Phil Leighton at the Dudley Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

Video - Bolton 2014

Hear from an attendee at the Bolton Schools Tennis Road Show 2014

2014 Road Show Dates

BoltonTuesday 25th February
DudleyWednesday 26th February
LeicesterThursday 27th February
CoventryFriday 28th February
WinchesterMonday 3rd March
ExeterTuesday 4th March
BristolWednesday 5th March
CardiffThursday 6th March
EdinburghMonday 10th March
GlasgowTuesday 11th March
SunderlandThursday 13th March
BatleyFriday 14th March
WrexhamMonday 17th March
CambridgeTuesday 18th March
HatfieldWednesday 19th March
RoehamptonThursday 20th March