Pupils Welcome Judy Murray Back to Forres Academy

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday September 11 2017

Pictured: Front row: Young Tennis Ambassadors from Forres Academy. Back row: Ann, Kris, Jana and Judy.

EIGHT young tennis ambassadors today welcomed Judy Murray and her coaching team back to Forres Academy for the second time this year.

As part of the Tennis on the Road initiative, Judy and lead coach, Kris Souter, spent the day with the Young Tennis Ambassadors, who’re all students at the academy.

Speaking before the session, Judy said building the links between the school, local tennis clubs and the community was one of the most important elements in making tennis more widely available.

“Our philosophy is to take tennis into areas where you wouldn’t find it has a large presence in schools or the local community.

“The last time we visited we trained up teachers, active schools coordinators and pupils to show them how to get started in developing tennis within the community.”

This time around Judy and Kris worked with the smaller group to develop specific coaching skills.

She said that Forres has the “perfect set up” because of the indoor and outdoor space for tennis at the academy, and the close proximity of the tennis club and courts.

“Any sport is only as good as its roots and that’s where we’re taking tennis back to, to build up the network of people engaged in tennis and coaching.

“By equipping these young ambassadors with the skills during these training sessions, we’re actually developing a workforce.”

Jana Brady is due to take up the role of Head Coach at Forres Tennis Club in November, and said the workforce being created would only strengthen the link between the school and club.

“These young ambassadors all have the opportunity to gain coaching qualifications and we’ll support them in helping them achieve this.

“They can also, through their volunteering at the club, help us and gain valuable work experience at the same time.”

Ann Rossiter is a Home Economics teacher at Forres Academy, but also coordinates sports activities for the students.

She said that the School of Tennis status, which was awarded to the academy last year, has opened up new opportunities to pupils - like these Tennis on the Road sessions.

“Our Young Tennis Ambassadors, all of whom are between S2 and S5, were the focus of this training session.

“It’s helped to equip them with specialist skills to coach others interested in learning to play tennis.

“They’re working towards qualifications like the Young Tennis Leaders Award and improving community links through tennis.”



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