Rye Hills Academy in Redcar were treated to special tennis P.E. lesson with a twist in June, as they were put through their paces by a former professional British Tennis player who hails from the region.
Former Britain No.1 Doubles Player Sarah Borwell visited the school on behalf of MFC Foundation and the Premier League 4 Sport programme, to offer tips and her expertise to both their elite tennis players, and to those looking to develop their skills and get more involved in the sport.
A former pupil at Nunthorpe School where former Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate and cricketer Liam Plunkett were fellow students, Sarah has played at all four grand slam competitions in world tennis (including Wimbledon), and has faced some of the very best female tennis players in the game, including Australian Open and US Open Champion Kim Clijsters, 2008 French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic, and 2013 Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli.
Now running her own Tennis company called Tennis Smart over in the USA, Sarah was on hand to offer her help to the school by running through a few footwork drills, working with their shot selection, and sharing anecdotes about her professional career.
Sarah was involved in our recent ‘Boro Makes Me’ campaign back in March to help empower girls from the Teesside area around International Women’s Day, and she was delighted to offer up her time to help the Foundation during her short stint back in the UK.
Sarah said: “It was great fun, it’s just nice being back home! I had some really good mentors when I was young, so it was great to give back and seeing them enjoying their tennis.
“We worked on a few different doubles scenarios, and how to play touch tennis.
“All of the players are really excited about going to London and playing against all the different teams.”