Tennis professionals support young people through Beyond the Baseline programme

The Youth Sport Trust and the Tennis Foundation have announced a three year partnership to engage young people who may be struggling with their behaviour, confidence or academic performance.

The Youth Sport Trust and the Tennis Foundation have announced a three year partnership to engage young people who may be struggling with their behaviour, confidence or academic performance.

Beyond the Baseline sees former and current professional tennis players trained as mentors to work in disadvantaged schools to inspire young people and help them fulfil their personal potential.

Following a successful first year, it was confirmed on Thursday that the partnership has been extended and will reach out to 150 secondary schools and 1,500 young people.

Speaking at the All England Tennis Club at the partnership launch, Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Officer Ali Oliver said: "We are delighted to grow our relationship with the Tennis Foundation, combining the Youth Sport Trust's considerable experience in raising achievement and athlete mentoring with the power of tennis and the inspiration of elite players.

She added: "This is a truly inspirational programme, using the power of sport to change these young people's lives for the better. Beyond the Baseline is a great way to help young people reach their potential both on and off the court."

The tennis mentors, including former Great Britain number one Katie O'Brien, will visit their nominated schools three times in a period of eight to 12 weeks to share their stories with a selected group of students. As well as teaching a few tennis skills, the mentors hope to inspire the young people with how they achieved success in tennis as well as talking about the personal, social, creative and thinking skills they have gained on their journey.

After working with their mentors, the groups of students will then plan, organise and deliver a tennis project for other young people in their community.

Tennis Foundation Executive Director Geoff Newton said: "Beyond the Baseline is a ground-breaking programme that demonstrates the power of tennis to improve the lives of young people across Great Britain. We're thrilled to be rolling out Beyond the Baseline to even more schools and to continue our close partnership with the Youth Sport Trust."

Recruitment is now underway for the next cohort of Beyond the Baseline mentors with former and current British ranked professional tennis players able to apply via the Youth Sport Trust website.

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