Stirling Schools tennis competition served up an ace.

Stirling Schools tennis competition served up an ace.

Now in its second year, this end of term celebration is run by Central District coach Adam Brown and supported by Tennis Central and Active Stirling and sponsored by FES Ltd.

Following training sessions and trials for the P3s and P4s at each school, competitions have been taking place within each cluster to find the top team. This school will then represent their cluster at the finals as they compete for the FES Schools Cup next month at The Peak leisure centre.

Ten teams from the Stirling cluster all competed at Kings Park and after some very tight matches Cambusbarron Primary School A team came out on top and qualified for the finals.

Due to poor weather, eight teams from the Wallace cluster all met indoors at the Gannochy Tennis Centre at the University of Stirling thanks to Beaconhurst School providing their minibuses to enable all the players to be transported. Following some exciting and extremely close matches Bridge of Allan Primary School were the winners.

The MacLaren cluster were participating for the first time in the competition and Port of Menteith Primary School emerged as the top team and booked their place in the finals. Joining them at The Peak will be Drymen Primary who won the Balfron cluster competition.

There are still competitions to be held over the next couple of weeks for the Dunblane and Bannockburn clusters.

Coach Adam Brown said: “It is great to see the improvement the children have made in their tennis skills over the past few months. Hopefully they will continue to play and enjoy their tennis.” This competition is a continuation of the project Adam started last year to take advantage of the success Andy Murray has brought to tennis in the area. One of the main areas Adam has focused on is to make sure that this is a project whereby there are lots of opportunities for the kids if they want to stay involved in the sport.

Adam noted: “After Wimbledon a lot of kids pick up tennis racquets and head down to the clubs or parks for a game of tennis, but for many this lasts a couple of weeks and then they would move on to the next thing. I wanted to think of a way to make sure the racquets would stay in the hands of the kids for a lot longer than this.” Adam developed a plan that started in October 2013. The project has revolved around making tennis accessible and giving children coaching for free or at minimal cost. Twenty-one primary schools in the area have received free tennis taster sessions and after-school sessions.

Adam added: “This has been an enormous, but worthwhile challenge to undertake. I’m delighted that the project is now in its second year and the competition has significantly increased in size. I was determined that the local area would benefit from Murray’s success and I was fortunate enough to be able to secure the funding needed to enable some of the best coaches in the area to go into the primary schools and pass on their expertise at no cost to the schools.

“I was really keen to offer the local children the chance to play tennis not just for a few weeks, but throughout the school year and I sincerely hope that this project will inspire children to increase their activity levels through tennis and start to play regularly. I am already for planning for the next academic year to keep the momentum going.”