Building character on the court
For those who have spent any time around the tennis courts, you would have undoubtedly heard myself or the coaches talking about “attitude”. Everything we attempt to cultivate with the boys emanates from the attitude they bring to the courts. Even our Saturday fixtures team selections are devised of criteria carved from the Newington cultural values: Enjoyment, Growth, Hard Work, Resilience, Respect, Unity.
This past weekend, we have one of the finest examples of two students who personify the tennis program philosophy and the mission of Newington College as an educational vehicle. Tommy Clark (7/JN) and Lewis Lee (7/MO) were playing in the 14D’s team against St Ignatius College – Riverview. Their opponents that day were two boys who live with disability. One boy has autism and the other Asperger syndrome. The Riverview staff had mentioned to the Newington manager that these boys were unable to rally or score but wanted them to experience a tennis match and the feeling that comes with making contact between racquet and ball. What makes this story special was Tommy and Lewis not only played a game of tennis with these boys but also engaged with these boys offering smiles and encouragement which in turn fetched laughter and enthusiasm from the Riverview opponents. This was likely a small part of the tennis season for Tommy and Lewis, however, it was likely a very big part of the tennis season for those two boys. I am very proud of the character Tommy and Lewis displayed last Saturday and it is a pertinent reminder of the essence of Sport – measuring one’s self and helping those around you rise..!
Director of Tennis