On Friday 3rd May 2019 the Merton School Sport Partnership held our KS2 inclusive tennis festival, hosted by the All England Lawn Tennis Club centre based on the Grand Drive, Raynes Park.

The covered courts set the scene for a carousel of mini games full of colour and variety. This is our second year presenting the inclusive tennis festival. In 2018 we had a single event with 12 teams taking part and due to the festival’s success, we decided to double in size for 2019. 23 teams from 16 schools attended this year and had the opportunity to experience 8 tennis-based skill zones either against, with or alongside other schools. Each zone was accompanied by committed sports leaders from Ursuline High School and the 10 girls did an amazing job, explaining the games with clarity and supporting each school during the day.

The day was split into 2 sessions with 9 schools (10 teams) taking part in the morning and the remaining 7 schools (13 teams) arriving for the afternoon.

The zones included;

Snakes and Ladders – Two teams take alternate shots at the upright target board. Using Velcro tennis balls, the players aim for a number between 1 and 6 to determine how many spaces they can then move their team’s counter along the board. Watch out for those slippery snakes though!

Tic-Tac-Toe Tennis – The traditional game of ‘noughts and crosses’ only expanded for our target tennis team event. Two teams take it in turns to lob a ball over the net and land it in the 3 by 3 grid. If successful, that box turns red or blue for that team. 3 colours in a row wins the round – only in our version you can steal an already claimed box with an accurate attempt.  

Back of the Net – aiming towards mini football goals with cones for an extra challenge.

Counter Connect – Using a giant connect four wall, players have two shots to hit a smaller sized tennis ball through any whole to win a token for their team to put down the chute.

Sitting Volleyball – Two teams attempt to hit the ball over the net and land it in their opposition’s half. The game can be played with a beachball or balloon to make it easier to rally.

Generation Game – Using an underarm or overarm serve, players aim to hit a selection of random objects and win them for their team. Objects included traffic cones, fruit baskets, the mystery box and of course the cuddly toy!

The Wall - Hit the cardboard brick targets from the wall to make it topple! The more power the better!

Ten-Pin Tennis - The traditional bowling set up with 10 skittles and players must knock as many over in two shots using an under/overarm or roll serve from the required distance.

Our vision and focus for the festival: to have fun and to encourage young people to get involved with playing tennis and more sport in Merton. Therefore, no scores were recorded nor medals awarded but each pupil received an MSSP participation certificate.

Thank you to the schools who made our tennis festival a brilliant occasion and we are already thinking of new and exciting versions of the games for 2020. Hillcross, Wimbledon Park, Poplar, Wimbledon Chase, St. John Fisher, Sacred Heart, Dundonald, Bishop Gilpin, Blossom House, The Priory, Links and Lonesome, Morden, SS Peter and Paul, St. Teresa’s and Cricket Green Primary School all contributed towards filing the courts with a wonderful atmosphere

The REFSPECT award for good team-work, encouragement and sportsmanship was this time nominated by our Ursuline sports leaders for who they thought showed these attributes. Congratulations to SS Peter and Paul and Cricket Green for being awarded with the certificate for this event over the two sessions. It is an award we regard highly across all of our events; competitions, finals and festivals, so a really big well done.

Many thanks to Hillcross, Perseid and West Wimbledon for lending us some of the pieces of equipment and thank you to the AELTC and Ursuline for their support this year.

We hope your schools are inspired to be involved next year and we would certainly value your feedback on making the event bigger and better for the future.

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