Tennis: Bede’s Launches LTA “Miss Hits” Girls’ Tennis Scheme
This term, Bede’s Prep tennis coach Jane Nash has launched a new LTA scheme within the School called “Miss Hits.”
A 12-week introduction to tennis for girls aged 5-8 years, Miss Hits has been designed by Judy Murray and has been launched in partnership with the LTA.
In a bid to understand why more girls were not taking up the sport, the LTA commissioned some research with girls and the research indicated that a key reason why girls were not taking up the sport was that they perceive it to be the highly competitive while many young girls just want to play sports for fun.
The Miss Hits scheme was designed to address this issue and Ms Nash was approached by the LTA and invited to be one of the small number of coaches to participate in the first training session led by Judy Murray at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
The programme is now being rolled-out across five year groups at Bede's Prep and week-by-week girls are being introduced to “Faith the Forehand” and “Bella the Backhand” while they also learn basic tennis skills through the use of specialised equipment and activities.
The sessions involve dancing and games, and is a fun introduction to competition, scoring and court positioning as well as a way of improving their motor skills.
Indeed, for those girls who want to take their tennis to the next level, it is the perfect introduction to the LTA Mini Tennis programme.
Jane explains, “Making tennis fun is the main focus of the Miss Hits scheme and we will be introducing this for girls from Nursery up to Year 4 within the PE lessons. So far it has gone down brilliantly - so much so even the boys in Year 8 want to get involved now!”
Jane went on to say, “I was really keen to support this LTA initiative as it’s vital for the future of women’s tennis to get girls involved early, widen participation and develop talent.
"This has to be done at a grass roots level and I’m proud that Bede’s is playing its part. Who knows if one day one of the 50 girls participating in the Miss Hits programme might go on to play at the Devonshire Park - or even at Wimbledon!”