Building for the future of British sport
A state-funded academy in Kent is showing how an investment in the right facilities, alongside the integration of academic and sports teaching, can help develop the potential of young tennis players For young people eager to develop their sporting potential it can be a challenge to find the time to train whilst ensuring their education, often their homework, does not suffer. Schools in turn face a challenge to provide adequate facilities to support pupils year round in the face of ongoing hurdles in the form of budgets and the British weather.
The Appeti Tennis academy based in Kent has been receiving widespread coverage from TV and press as it looks to overcome the challenge of supporting talented pupils by providing a unique environment and curriculum within which pupils can excel.
Set up by former tennis pro Eb Appeti in partnership with Canterbury High School, pupils at the academy switch between coaching and academic lessons throughout a day which runs from 7.30am to 6pm. Core subjects such as Maths and English are taught at the nearby Canterbury High School, whilst coaching takes place on-site at the academy, using a purpose built structure which contains multiple tennis courts and enables year-round play.
Whilst such a unique approach to the curriculum may not be feasible for every school, it does highlight how having the right all-weather facilities on-hand can have a huge impact on the opportunities afforded to promising pupils without putting additional pressure on their academic work.
The covered courts, supplied by specialists CopriSystems are bespoke creations to match the exact needs of Appeti Tennis. Features include a tensile membrane cover allowing natural light to flood the courts and hard-wearing material side walls which can be rolled up during warmer months to allow for maximum ventilation.
Eb Appeti commented: “Our programmes were hugely successful but would be affected by adverse weather in the winter… The structure has enabled us to grow our programmes and we use it to coach and develop tennis all year round.”
CopriSystems structures are prefabricated meaning they are quick to install, typically require minimal groundworks and are much cheaper than a traditional building. As well as the tennis court construction and surrounding structure, they can also incorporate facilities such as changing rooms and viewing galleries.
As well as providing structures for individual sports CopriSystems have installed multi-sports facilities for schools across the UK ensuring maximum usage and value for money – something which is also helped by long term hire options in addition to outright purchase.
Eb Appeti continues: “As a privately owned centre cost was a big consideration as I was paying for the centre with my own money. We took a lot of time visiting many structures from air-supported to traditional builds. CopriSystems offered the best value for money with a great product. It is very well received by all that use it.”
With the Appeti tennis centre going from strength to strength and more schools investing in these types of cost-effective facilities, the future of British tennis and sport in general is looking up.