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Samantha Kingdon Marston -

It’s Never Too Late To Start; thanks to Project 500 I became a qualified coach

samantha-tennis-coach

As a stay at home mum it was only when I took my daughters to the local tennis club session that I got back into the game. ?Having played when I was a lot younger at Club, School and County Level it has always been a sport that I loved. ?With growing numbers at the sessions I volunteered and was then persuaded to take my Level 1 course?.which then led to my Level 2 with a little more persuasion. ?This was achieved through the support of the Head Coach, Chris Hull and Project 500 grant (a Winchester CC initiative aimed at getting more female coaches in all sports).

Having been coaching for a little over 3 years, I am now part of a successful coaching team who run a community venue which has just won ?Aegon Tennis Awards – County Community Venue of the Year? at Bishop?s Waltham as well as running curriculum and after school sessions in a host of local education establishments from Infant Schools through to Universities.

I was delighted to be selected to attend the Miss Hits course with Judy Murray and as a mum of two daughters it provided me with an insight how to keep girls interested and positive. Not only about the sport that they are playing but also installing self confidence and belief as they progress as young players into young ladies and the changes they experience – so many girls lapse out of sport with this as a factor and being able to help is so important.

The coaching session was great fun and gave me games and opportunities to expand my coaching knowledge which I can relay back to coaches in the team but also transfer seamlessly into my sessions. ?In addition, meeting Judy and talking about her experiences and goals for the future of the sport provided a great role model and I am looking forward to taking my youngest to meet Judy at a session and Christmas party in December.

As a coach who has also done the Tennis Tuesday and Advantage training this has been a surprising learning curve. ?Whilst delivering both sessions has been fun as coaches we have found it works better for a female coach to deliver the Mens Advantage sessions and vice versa for the Tennis Tuesdays.

The Davis Cup Legacy Programme provided me with a great experience last year having completed 4 courses (40 children) and I have re applied for the 2017 Tennis for Kids session. ?I am hoping to be able to deliver 6 courses in 2017 and start some more young players on an incredible journey.

Age: 44
Years coaching: 4
Playing experience: I used to play club and county as a junior as well as school but now focus on the coaching side of things

Current qualification and role: LTA Level 2 Coach – coach and schools co-ordinator

Area of speciality in coaching: Miss Hits and Mini Red (5-8 year old Tennis)
What motivated you to coach tennis? I volunteered for a while as a parent of a playing child and then go the bug and the coach asked if I would consider undertaking my Level 1?kinda went from there!
Do you do any programs or initiatives to get more women playing? I have run Miss Hits (A girls only tennis initiative set up by Judy Murray) and Nike Tennis Tuesdays (Social Tennis set up to bring women back into the game)
Do you have any involvement coaching or playing any other sports? I play golf occasionally
Favourite female tennis player??Angie Kerber
Favourite female sports role model? Becky Adlington
Do you have a coaching philosophy??Get on court – have fun and play fair!

 

Project 500 – was?launched in 2013 as a campaign to address the imbalance in the number of male to female coaches in the UK and aimed to create?a more diverse workforce to drive the growth of female participation in sport. By March 2015 it had seen?500 female coaches recruited, developed and deployed across the seven South East Counties in England.

 

 

Thanks to Emma Wells for the interview…

  1. Kathleen

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    Good for you. I decided at 50 to become a rugby coach. Started coaching girls at my school and via project 500 and the RFU became a level 2 coach last summer. This season I have assistant coach to the Hampshire u 15 girls team. Never too old! Always learning!

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