Wimbledon 2022: Six Top UK Schools for Tennis

Which independent day and boarding schools in the UK can guide your child on the pathway to a professional tennis career? WhichSchoolAdvisor rounds up some of the country's leading schools for talented young tennis players.
Wimbledon 2022: Six Top UK Schools for Tennis
By Carli Allan
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It’s Wimbledon season again, and with all eyes on Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper, Andy Murray and other top British tennis players on Centre Court it’s time to think about the rising tennis stars of the future. Whether your child has their sights set on a professional tennis career, or simply enjoys a game, set and match, they may want to consider a school with a strong tennis programme.

Stonyhurst College

Tennis at this Catholic day and boarding school near Clitheroe in Lancashire has gone from strength to strength over the last four years since the addition of the Stonyhurst Tennis Academy. After joining Stonyhurst College in 2018, Director of Tennis David Shaw launched a newly designed academy programme which creates player pathways for any aspiring student. The school has 150-plus students enrolled in its Academy, and it consistently performs well at county and national level competitions.

With its indoor Glassbrook Tennis Dome (opened by Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman) – as well as seven outdoor courts – Stonyhurst is well-equipped to train tennis players in all seasons. The dome is 10m high and offers two Grand Slam size tennis courts, with high-performing acoustics and glare-free playing conditions.

Queenswood School

One of the UK’s leading all-girls’ schools for tennis, the school has had many successes in senior and junior national leagues, county leagues and school competitions.

Queenswood School offers an enviable scholarship programme for talented tennis players. Tennis scholars are trained at the prestigious Gosling Tennis Academy, as well as on campus. The two-tier scholarship programme trains students with Top 20 potential at National (Tier 1) or County (Tier 2) levels. Impressive facilities on its 120-acre parkland estate include 12 outdoor clay courts, two indoor hard courts, a cardio gym, swimming pool and fitness suite.

Millfield School

Millfield School is synonymous with sport and is a top contender for educating future Olympians; there are not many that can compete with this co-ed independent day and boarding school for sport. It has a reputation for tradition for developing some of the UK’s top tennis players; students are awarded scholarships to universities in the US and go on to play professional tennis, and notable alumni include former British number 1 Andrew Castle.

All-weather facilities include seven outdoor courts, three of which are floodlit, and one court which is covered with an all-weather bubble. The school’s team of six LTA-approved coaches deliver tennis lessons and squads throughout the year, as well as training camps including an annual trip to Portugal. Students may be offered individual sporting programmes instead of joining timetabled PE lessons.

Culford School

This Suffolk school’s high performance tennis programme is open to all Culford students from nine years old, who are assessed by one of Culford School’s seven full-time performance tennis coaches. The programme includes strength and conditioning training, international training camps at La Manga, Spain, competitive trips, and sports psychology

Culford has five outdoor courts, four championship standard indoor courts, and two indoor courts covered by a single skin air-hall – which makes it the ideal training ground for tennis come rain or shine. In 2018, the school was ranked the UK’s number two boys’ and number three girls’ school by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Sports scholarships are awarded to the value of up to 25% of tuition fees to students who are achieving at county standard in two sports, one of which can be tennis.

Reed’s School

This Surrey-based all-boys school has its very own tennis academy (RSTA), which is recognised as one of the country’s best, and its players have won the World Schools’ Championships three times in recent years. Entry to Reed's School's RSTA is hugely competitive, and boys aged 11- 13 years need to pass the school’s tough entry exams and meet high standards in the sport.

Each player has a personalised tennis programme that offers them daily coaching – including one technically based and one match play session a day – alongside their academic timetable. Reed’s coaches focus on developing players with the ability to progress their tennis through to the American University Tennis Scholarship programme. Former Reed’s student and six-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, Tim Henman, is known to return to the school from time to time.

Repton School

Repton School has a track record of turning out county and national standard players. There is an Elite Squad who train on a daily basis and have international rankings and travel on the ITF and TE Circuit, as well as a Performance Squad for players considered with potential to become county or national standard players.

Facilities include indoor and outdoor, all-weather courts, fitness suite, video room, and a re-string service.

And finally... Real tennis in UK schools

The real tennis court at Canford School

Students can learn to play the traditional sport of Real Tennis at just a handful of independent schools in the UK. Schools with an historic real tennis court include Canford School, which has a court that dates back to 1879. Every Canford student is given the opportunity to play real tennis in their first year carousel sessions, and then choose to continue playing it as an after-school activity.

Other schools with a real tennis court include Radley College. Radley students play real tennis as a main games option in the school's Racquets Sports Rotation programme, which also includes rackets and squash. Boys play fixtures against the likes of Eton, Wellington and Canford, as well as Oxford University and the Queen's Club and standard of play at the school is "very much going from strength to strength".

Wellington College,has one of the UK's newest real tennis courts, which is used alongside the school's 22 hard tennis courts.

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