On Friday 16th March, retired tennis champion, Tim Henman OBE, joined Raynes Park High School on Bushey Road as it became the first state school to be an accredited Tim Henman Foundation/BECSLink Community.
He was joined by Olympic gold medalist, Crista Cullen MBE, Lady Wimbledon, and Mayor of Merton, Marsie Skeete who said: “It’s a beautiful day and wonderful to see the smiles on children’s faces when they saw Tim Henman on the tennis courts. The children sang beautifully and I like the way the local community engaged with the whole day’s activities.”
Raynes Park High School is working alongside national and local Merton businesses, education charities, and sports and arts organisations to provide resources and learning opportunities for young people. This offers students and teachers in the local community and opportunity to develop new skills.
During the morning of Friday 16th March, 400 school children from Merton schools came together at Raynes Park High School to participate in a range of activities, from music workshops with operatic trio Tenors Unlimited, to sporting activities led by Wimbledon Hockey, Fulham Football and Performance Plus.
Mr Henman presented students with scholarships from the grant awarded to the school. This initiative is designed to support talented young people who have been prevented from pursuing their talents due to a lack of finances.
He said: “It’s great to be back in the region, as I went to school at Reeds and attended the David Lloyd Centre. This day is all about the children – it’s wonderful to see their enthusiasm in such a range of activities. I like to think they can achieve great things in the future.
It’s important for youngsters to seize every opportunity and I’m pleased through my Foundation to give back in such a wonderful way in association with not only the scholarships but also in supporting further enrichment programmes with Raynes Park High School in the areas of science, technology, engineering and Maths, computer coding, through sport and helping the growth of a community tennis programme.”
Kirsten Heard, the head teacher, said: “We are proud to become the first state school accredited as a BECSLink Community. This has all been made possible through the vision of BECSLink and the Tim Henman Foundation, and my team at the school.
BECSLink’s role as the social mobility network, together with their partners from national and local Merton businesses, education charities, and sports and arts organisations are helping us supply outstanding resources and learning opportunities for students and teachers not only from my school, but also from other local schools. It’s wonderful that Tim will be with us on the day and that his Foundation is playing such an important role.”