The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is on the prowl for the next Tim Henman or Venus Williams.
The Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI) was established in 2001 after All England Club members decided they wanted to put something back into the community.
The concept involves a team of coaches visiting two schools per week for tennis lessons with a scholarship extended to six students who show potential.
The scholarship provides free tennis coaching at the AELTC on weekends. If the budding tennis stars continue to impress, they may be recruited into squads for additional training/coaching twice a week after school.
The London Boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth support the initiative, which has so far visited 155 out of a possible 160 schools and provided tennis coaching to 26,000 local children.
As part of the program, selected students are encouraged to compete in tournaments and just last month took on their rivals from Putney and Wilton Lawn Tennis Clubs.
Dan Bloxham, AELTC Head Coach said:
“We not only run the program to put something back into the local community but to raise the profile of sport in local schools, help teachers with their delivery of tennis within their schools and to utilise the courts which are not in use.
“If we do all these things well we might turn out some top players to compete at the highest level.”
For more information about the initiative, phone Jane Griffiths on 020 8944 1066.