Having learnt Tennis since I was 4 and having played competitively since the age of 6, I reached County and National levels as a junior and continue to play National level doubles representing York in the National Premier League.
Having grown up surrounded by and inspired by my parents who are both retired teachers, when I set ABC-Tennis up in 2017, my initial aim was to bring the game I love to as many primary school children as I could and to inspire children to be fit, healthy and active both inside and outside school, so that they could feel energised when in the classroom environment.
As I sit here looking back at my Tennis upbringing, it really strikes me how playing and practising outside on the streets seems a thing of the past. In such a technologically revolutionised world, where life can be imaginatively and all too realistically simulated on computer screens, giving children a 'virtual escape,' (which is not beneficial to their ABC's and physical/emotional and social well-being) was and remains, a trend which worries me greatly, so I set about changing it!
Ultimately, my mission is to bring Tennis firmly into not only the PE curriculum of primary schools, but also into the daily conversations between pupils in the city I grew up in. To me, that means providing children with a 'natural' and 'organic' outlet in the form of networking parents and children to one of our numerous local York-based Tennis Clubs and wonderful coaches to continue their Tennis journey in a structured and fun learning environment, among like-minded learners!
I hope that in the process, I can go some way towards breaking the commonly misplaced stereotype of Tennis being only a summer sport for the privileged.
Allow me to expand. I strongly believe that finding a passion costs nothing, but persevering with it and chasing a dream is where cost can be incurred as your love for the game grows and the constant search for small incremental gains results in cost.
HOWEVER... as I eluded to before, any journey must start somewhere and this journey is in danger of coming to an almighty stop very quickly if it is not enriching and inspiring for children. Children know what they like and what they don't after all!
Therefore, the message to my team is simple...
"Bring fun, inspiration and passion to all that you teach!"
Tennis is and will remain a huge part of who I am today and I want children to feel the same excitement I felt when I first held my Tennis racquet and stepped onto court"
I hope to see you on court soon!--- Ben
Level 4 Senior Club Coach (LTA)
European Academy Professional (RPT)
BSc from Loughborough in Behavioural Psychology; MSc in Sport and Business