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By Hannah O’Hanlon
Dalintober Primary School pupils had a smashing time on Wednesday when tennis coach Judy Murray OBE put them through their paces.
The former professional tennis player and mother of Jamie and Sir Andy Murray – two of Scotland’s most successful tennis stars – travelled to Kintyre to deliver coaching sessions.
It was in response to a Twitter post by additional support needs (ASN) assistant Mairi Campbell about Dalintober’s extra-curricular tennis activities, pupil equity and opportunities.
Judy replied to the Tweet and offered to come to the school with fellow coach Laura Middleton, to lead coaching sessions with some of the pupils.
Both ladies are trustees of the Judy Murray Foundation, a charity which aims to improve access to tennis opportunities across Scotland, including in remote areas.
It wasn’t possible for every student to participate but all P4 pupils, P6 and P7 pupils attending extra-curricular tennis club, some ASN pupils and partner pupils from Glenbarr Primary School were given the chance to take part on Wednesday afternoon.
In the morning, Judy and Laura led an adult session at the school, providing training for school staff and community partners.
After school, they coached members of Dalintober’s tennis club at Campbeltown Lawn Tennis Club, where a parent and child session was held in the early evening.
In her first visit to Campbeltown, Judy told the Courier she has been coaching at grassroots level for the last eight years, on the back of Jamie and Andy’s success.
During her Kintyre visit, she was glad to be able to coach not just at the school but also in the community, as she believes it’s important to show how young people can continue in the sport as they reach adulthood.
She added she loves visiting remote places like Campbeltown but that it doesn’t often come as the result of responding to a social media post.
Caroline Armour, head teacher of Dalintober and Glenbarr primary schools, told the Courier: ‘All our extra-curricular activities offer progression to our young people as they become young adults to go on to develop skills by following the pathways offered by clubs and organisations within the community.
‘It is a commitment of our ethos to ensure equity and inclusion for all of our pupils and we are immensely grateful to our dedicated and enthusiastic youth work assistant team – Tracey Brogan, Fraser Cosgrove and Claire Mitchell – for arranging these opportunities.
‘We were thrilled to welcome Judy and Laura to Dalintober to work with our pupils and we are super happy for Miss Campbell. It is down to her that this fantastic visit came about. Thank you, Mairi.’
The school showed Judy and Laura a taste of Kintyre hospitality, ordering lunch from The Kintyre Larder, sweet treats from Muneroy and whisky from Glen Scotia Distillery to be enjoyed après tennis.
Dalintober Primary School’s P4 class joined pupils from Glenbarr Primary School for a tennis masterclass courtesy of Judy Murray OBE, front right, and Laura Middleton, front left, on Wednesday afternoon. 50_c22judymurray01