Posted 06 Jun 2023

Our second day was a visit to Poverest Primary School in Bromley, it was during this second visit, I quickly came to realise how much work teachers invest in their school and their pupils. It quickly became apparent that a teacher’s day is not 9-3.30pm, their responsibilities stretch deep into a working day, starting well before the 9am class start time.

A massive thank you must go out to Andrew Duffing who worked through all the management of this event with me, in association with Access Sport who supported the reach out to the schools in London through their network. Without the support of the WTA (The Women’s World Tennis Governing Body), and Morgan Stanley, this large tennis inclusion programme would simply not have happened.

The one aspect that jumped out at me during this day, was how insanely busy Andrew Duffing is, he was here, there, everywhere, if he was not tendering the plants for the school garden, he was teaching, or attending to the multitude of responsibilities he is committed to, without doubt, he is on the list for the busiest schoolteacher award in Great Britain!

Another stand out personality on the day was Jake Johnson the tennis coach for the day from Raw Tennis. He has a wealth of experience, delivering across all levels, and currently running a very large programme in London. During the first session, Jake delivered with an energy and passion that all the girls really appreciated. At the launch of his second session, his passion was the same, and again for the third and fourth, in fact, his level of energy, passion and dynamic nature of coaching maintained consistently throughout all the sessions during a very heavy schedule of coaching.

It was a long day, but a day that had witnessed smiles, laughter, and fun through the game of tennis. This is a relationship that will continue, the Elena Baltacha Foundation has already started conversation with Andrew, regarding a legacy programme, ensuring that the affect we had during this incredible day, will lead on to many more girls playing tennis over the coming years.

By Nino Severino

by Wendy Henderson