It's that time of year again- the pristine grass, crisp tennis whites, strawberries and cream are out in full force, as the most famous tennis tournament in the world gathers pace.

With all eyes on Wimbledon, and the incredible performances of skill, endurance, determination and sheer willingness to succeed on display for all to see, Sport in Mind are reflecting on some fantastic opportunities that our partnership with the LTA have given us as a charity, as well as the powerful strides our long term partnership is making in using Tennis to improve the lives of people suffering with mental health problems.  

At its very core, the funding that has been provided by the LTA Foundation has allowed Sport in Mind to further develop our tennis offering across the south east, for both our adults and youth services to improve the lives of people suffering with mental health problems.

Beyond this, Sport in Mind are proud to work together with the LTA to provide tools and resources for coaches within the LTA to support those in need, including the Mental Health Factsheet for Tennis venues up and down the country.

Neil Harris, CEO of Sport in Mind said: "We are always incredibly humbled by funding that we receive from governing bodies like the LTA that allows us to expand and improve our core services, but what I am incredibly proud of is the further work that we do together to provide support for the wider sporting community in understanding mental health, educating on how sport can support our mental health and ensuring that people on the ground have the tools and resources they need to help those who need it most"

With the LTA, this goes even further. Sport in Mind have been delighted to not only be able to reward our Tennis coaches with invitations to recent championship tournaments- something that goes a long way to encourage and show thanks for the hard work our coaches put in- but we have also had the opportunity to be a part of the tournament, creating a sense of community, teamwork, and a great sense of pride for the work we are doing together.

Just last week, Sport in Mind were honored to take part in the coin toss at both the Rothesay Classic in Eastbourne and the Lexus British Open Wheelchair competition, a particular highlight where our coaches Chloe and Kieran also were able to deliver activities alongside the LTA to demonstrate how tennis can help improve our mental health.

   

Finally, and perhaps most importantly in demonstrating the deep respect for the importance of the work that each organisation does, Sport in Mind were absolutely delighted to support one of our attendees Naomi is visiting the Cinch Championships at Queens ( a lifelong ambition for her!) in order for her to act as a 'mystery shopper'  to feedback to the LTA how inclusive the tournament felt to someone with mental health problems. For us as an organisation, this is a fantastically important step- and one we are proud to have been a part of.

There's lots we could say about this.... but we think Naomi, in her own words, says it best:

I was given a fantastic opportunity by Sport in Mind to attend the Cinch Championships as a "mystery shopper,"  checking out the venue from a person who suffers with mental health difficulties and what it would be like for someone else attending!  I found I had a positive experience and the whole process was quite straightforward!  They even have a quiet and multi-faith room which is perfect for people who find crowds overwhelming! 

The most amazing experience for me was being sat in the front row of Premier seats and being able to see all my favourite tennis players from the top of world tennis rankings Carlos Alcaraz, Andy Murray and Jack Draper!

I just want to say thank you to Sport in Mind and the LTA for giving me the opportunity for this amazing experience! 

Thank you to the LTA, the LTA Foundation and everyone involved in making this partnership happen. We cant wait to see where it takes us next!