04February

A message from Tina

Dear all members of Hylands,

 

In the summer of 1994 I took my 5 year old daughter to Hylands Park for a three day summer course.

Tennis was a sport I have always loved and grew up with. Tennis was in my blood.

But that day in 1994 I had no idea how involved I would become in the sport again.

Soon, myself, my husband Dave, my daughter Hannah and then later my son Jack were all members of Hylands.

Within a couple of years I had gone from being a spectator to helping out with the coaching, then getting my licence and coaching in schools, then taking over at Hylands when my predecessor left.

I have seen the club evolve from running 3 lessons on a Saturday morning to the programme we have today.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach thousands of children the game that gave me so much enjoyment.

With the backing and encouragement of Giorgio I found a new career that I was not expecting.

But now, it is time for me to step down, so mid November I informed Giorgio that I will be leaving Hylands at the end of the year in March.

The only part of me that is thrilled with my decision, are my knees and hips but I know that the time is right.

I thank not only Giorgio but the many wonderful Tennis Leaders that I have been able to work with and help out, the many parents who have trusted me to share and teach my sport to their children, but most of all the children that have made my job, fun, inspiring and a sheer delight.

I wish everyone at Hylands all the very best and I know that the club will continue to grow and develop into the unique tennis club that always has children at its heart.

Tina.

26January

2015 by Evie Page

2015 what a year! Exciting, adventurous and ambitious from the very beginning right to new year’s eve.
  
Let’s starts from the very beginning… finding a £20 note in the back of a taxi new year’s eve 2014! That made me think that 2015 could be a great year and what a great year it was!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the middle of February 2015 I was very lucky to be one of the 50 students from my school to be going on the skiing trip to New York. Leading up to this trip I was feeling a mixture of emotions, I was very excited however I was very nervous as it was my first time travelling without my parents and me and planes don’t get along that well. Waking up on the day that I was starting this brilliant adventure I was feeling very, very excited and the fact that I would be flying on a plane with no parents kinda slipped my mind at that time. My mum dropped me off at school with my suitcase and we said our goodbyes. That’s when it hit me that I wouldn’t be seeing her, my dad and my sister for a week, which was a little upsetting. Anyways, at 9:30am we set off on the coach to Stansted airport.  This is all of us on the coach (I am somewhere in the back) when we got to the airport it all went a little too fast and then we were on the plane getting ready to take off. Luckily, I was sitting next to my best friend who loves flying and she made the flight seem very quick! Another 7 hours went past, which felt like 5 minutes, and we landed in New York! Everyone was so excited but we all just wanted to go to sleep. However, we still had a 3-hour coach journey to our hotel.  When we arrived at the hotel, mostly everyone looked like Zombies as we all had minimal sleep on the coach. This is also why I haven’t got pictures at this time, haha! After we had checked in we all went to our rooms and fell straight to sleep, knowing that the fun started when we woke up!  In the morning, we went down and ate our interesting breakfast which was potatoes and pasta? Don’t ask why. Looking out of the window whilst I was eating my breakfast, I felt like I was in some kind of movie as all I could see was snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After breakfast we went outside and this when I knew I was in America as we were going to be travelling an American school bus to the skiing resort! It was so cool! When we I stepped outside, I have never felt so cold in my life! When we arrived at the skiing resort we skied 2 hours in the morning and then 2 hours in the afternoon and we did this for 4 days. And in the evening we did a range of activities such as, bowling, tobogganing, ice-skating and we went to the cinema. After the 4 days skiing we got to go shopping in New York City! This was an incredible experience! We went to Times Square, 911 memorials, Statue of Liberty and the Hard Rock Café.
 
This trip was the most fun I’ve ever had! And I loved every second of this experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now moving into April which is always my favourite month as it is my birthday month! In 2015 I had my Sweet 16th, this was brilliant as I had a party and got invite all my family and friends!  To the left is a picture from my sweet 16th party of me and my 3 besties! I really enjoyed this night as it was a couple of weeks before my exams and it was good to just relax and not worry about them for the time being.
 
And that is what comes next, my GCSE’s!!! honestly I didn’t think that they were a big deal when I was in year 10 but I soon came to realise that they would make the biggest impact on my life this is because if I didn’t get the grades needed for my ideal sixth form then my whole ideal career path would be destroyed. So I put my head down and concentrated on revising and this sadly meant not playing tennis for couple of weeks. The actual exams weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be or as bad as people made out that they were. On results day I was very, very nervous and was very worried as different thoughts kept popping into my head like “what if I failed all my exams?” “what will I do if I have failed?” when I collected the results I took them straight home and didn’t open them in front of anyone. I went into my bathroom and slowly started to open them hoping for the best. When I opened the envelope and read the results, I started laughing to myself, don’t ask why! I felt so happy and proud and when I told my family they all were very happy and proud. In my exams I received 5Bs, 4Cs and 1A! I am now in my first choice of sixth form studying Physical Education, Business Studies and ICT.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 also saw the end of my school years and the last day of school was highly emotional as all my friends were starting a new journey and were all going to different collages and sixth forms.  It is tradition at St. Edward’s that on the last day for year 11 we get to dress up and have a load of fun. We all dressed up and got to sign each other’s school tops and then at the end of the day we had an assembly were the whole year got together and remembered the good times that we had together over our 5 school years. After this me and my friends all went for a cheeky Nandos’ and had a load of fun! The picture on the right is of some of my year in our silly costumes!

 

 

 

 


A couple of weeks after this we had PROM!!!!!!! This was a great night! It was the first time, since I was 3, that my nan had seen me in a dress, haha! PROM was a great night and more memories were made. All the girls looked so beautiful and the boys looked very dapper! This picture on the left is a picture of me and the squad. We all looked really pretty! I am on the end on the left.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I have had a great journey so far and it didn’t stop there! In November I signed up to do my Level 1 coaching qualification. For this I had to do a 3-day course with 3 voluntary hours, helping Tina with mini reds. At the beginning of the course I did feel a little uncomfortable as in my class of 10 I was the youngest by far and was the only one fully participating in coaching at that time. During the course I also had to do some things that were out of my comfort zone. The first 2 days were very tiring physically and mentally, taking in all the information. On the third day of the course I had an assessment, were I had to coach a small class for 15 minutes. In my head 15 minutes seem like a very long time, however once the timer started, time seemed to fly by and it was over before I knew it. After this third day of the course I was left in suspense wondering whether or not I had passed my assessment. A week before Christmas I got a knock on the door and it was the postman with a rather large envelope with my name on it, me being me I thought “what on earth could it be?” only when I opened it did I realise that it was from the level 1 course and it said that I had passed! I was so happy and the first people I told, apart from my family, were Tina and Giorgio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I am very grateful for all the opportunities that the club has offered me and I am looking forward to the future where I am looking to do my level 2,3,4 and many more. I am also hoping to become a PE teacher in the future! I am currently running Girls Beginner Sessions and this is so much fun and I have met so many lovely girls and have learnt so many more things about myself and am looking forward to finding out more!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and I look forward to seeing you on court soon!

Evie Page

30November

My experience of National Citizen Service

July 6th– July 23rd; plus four Sunday’s in September. By Aidan

 

 

 

 

Nervously, I entered the Ripple Centre (Barking) where I got assigned to a group of nine strangers (aged 15-17). We sat in chairs in a circular arrangement and awkwardness was apparent especially as remembering everyone names, I found difficult, and part of me wasn't sure if I would cope.

Anyway, I got on the coach for a 4 -hour journey to Cote Ghyll Mill in Osmotherley, North Allerton, North Yorkshire.

Why did I apply for NCS? Firstly it is a once in a lifetime opportunity as only 15-17 -year- olds can take part and secondly I'm adventurous which is exactly what the first week provided.

While in Yorkshire I did several activities including raft building/canoeing, rock climbing, bushcraft (survival training- making a fire with flint and steel), archery, hiking and camping. Furthermore, all meals needed throughout the day was provided and bunk bed accommodation for only £50!

I extremely enjoyed the first week apart from the lack of sleep one night because of tight and cold conditions in a tent. Additionally it helped me get to know my teammates.


During the second week, we stayed in Yurts (large tents) in Lambourne End, Chigwell. During this week, we had to make our own lunch and dinner every day developing our independence and teamwork skills.

During the days of this week, we were in Dagenham Vibe centre where my team Ward (named after Carly Ward a successful business woman) were learning from a business expert enterprise skills.

The skills we learned enabled us to cooperate together to form a consultant team which we named ourselves Fuzion in order to help advise a local youth club leader how they could improve their club in terms of their networking and fundraising.

We rehearsed several times so we presented our ideas to them professionally and they were rather impressed and agreed to take our advice on board.

Additionally during my leisure time in the youth centre I chilled down by playing some ping pong with my NCS peers. But once we got back into work we knuckled down and our final challenge for this week was to organise and set up the showcase for parents and friends of my NCS peers displaying the skills the different teams had learnt. For example, there were musical performances, photography showcase, freestyle football showcase and a drama performance.

My role was to be like a scheduler noting down the requested time slot each team wanted to rehearse and I made sure they rehearse in the lecture room on time.

Anyway, the showcase was a huge success it all run smoothly and the audience were left impressed with the performances and skills displayed the show.


During the third week, my meeting point was at Barking Abbey School. Once I arrived there every morning tiredness was dwelling on me but empathetic words from my mentor helped keep me motivated.

The main aim of this week was to learn how to construct a campaign to help fundraise for a struggling local charity. The charity we got visited by was called Flipside and was an LGBT charity whose aim was to help reduce the amount of discrimination towards anyone's gender.

Anyway, we worked together to think of ideas to formulate our campaign and this included having an attractive Stall with posters and balloons to gain the public's attention and displayed our slogan ‘equality is quality.'

We also planned to do a social experiment where members of my group acted out different scenarios of where they acted as a homeless person and the public for spare change and we observed to see if there was a varying amount of generosity towards the opposite sex.

We rehearsed our speech and pitched it in front of dragons to persuade them to give us £50 which we would use for our campaign. We were successful and speaking in public was helping improve my confidence and others also.


Finally, in the last part of the program we only met on the Sunday weekends and it involved collecting the resources needed for our campaign and doing our campaign, sponsored walk we raised money for while performing challenges in order to compete against the other groups to get points as the group with most points would win "Cheeky Nando's vouchers" so we were determined to win, but we failed despite completing all of the challenges.

Additionally we took part in a parade in Dagenham whom Scouts, numerous charity members took part and we represented NCS waving our flag in the public's view which was worth it to a certain extent as I was awarded a medal at the end.


Overall to sum my experience of NCS up it was tough (especially the first week) but an exhilarating ride and I definitely enjoyed my time on NCS and so I highly recommend it. Please be aware though if you would like to take part next summer it is only applicable for 15-17-year-olds only.

If you would like to learn more here are links to:


Website:  http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/


And promotion video:  https://youtu.be/155NogWVBgo


PS- Team ward is the best; forget about the rest! Congratulations if you are in team ward

Aidan is a team member at Hylands

30November

World Challenge

World Challenge by Jack B                    December 2015

In May 2013 I was told in assembly of a 28 day expedition that would take place in 2 years time to Cambodia and Laos, at first I thought "ahh I'll never go, it's just one of them things".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to take a information sheet at the end just to read through it more. When I got home I showed my parents and we both went through it all and deeply looked into it when I realised I really wanted to do this as it offered so much that I'd enjoy so much. The next day I went to Mrs Wickenden (the teacher running the trip alongside the company World Challenge) to get a full application form. On this form there were basic questions such as, what, why, how etc... I filled them in with a lot of reference to my prospectus career in the Royal Navy. My application was then returned to Mrs Wickenden and it was then assessed by a panel who decided the selection for one of the 17 places out of 74 applicants. During the last week of the summer term I was fortunate enough to be one of the 17 students to be selected.

The real challenge started then as I had to fundraise £3,495 plus extra money for kit, visas and vaccinations which worked out to be an extra £1000. I had two years to raise this as my expedition was in July 2015. I ran various events such as raffles, discos, car boot sales, bag packing and much much more. The work was extensive and it took up most of my little free time. By March 2015 I had finally raised all my money with all my kit and the money for my visas and vaccination. By this point I was getting really excited and anxious to go in less than 2 months. These two months came round so quickly and before I knew it I was at Heathrow airport waiting for my 12:30 flight to Bangkok and then my connection flight to Vientiane in Laos.

As soon as we touched down my work begun as I had been nominated to be in the Accounting team for the first two weeks. We were given our $12,500 for the 21 people (17 students, 3 staff, 1 exped leader), this money was for everything including food, transport, accommodation and any emergency matters. When we got through Laos customs we were told that absolutely nothing had been booked so we were completely self sufficient. We started by changing $400 as that’s what we worked out we needed for the first two days, we were shocked when we got back 1,600,000 Kip as the exchange rate was $1=4000 Kip. We then bought two in-country mobile phones and got the ball rolling by booking a hotel in the capital. The first two days in Laos were just chilling in the capital to get used to the 6 hour time difference and the 30 degree temperatures. On day 3 we set off for our acclimatization trek which would last 4 days and 3 nights in order to get us ready for the main trek a week later.

We set of our first day of trek highly motivated and fresh until 10 minutes in when we hit a river crossing. Here we had to take off our boots and socks and roll up our trousers to go knee deep in muddy and fast flowing water. For safety we had to have our bags on one shoulder and holding a partner next to us in case we did fall. We reached the other side full of mud up to our knees then we had to put our socks and boots back on which was a challenge as we still had wet feet. We reached our first camp around 4pm after a 4 hour trek. This camp was quite open which meant that there was a nice breeze and wasn't as humid and the thick jungle. We then ate and settled down in our hammocks. All of a sudden, around 11pm, I was abruptly woken up when my name was being screamed a constant pounding sound! When I sat up I realised what had happened. A freak monsoon had hit us which caused bashers to fly off and people to be swung out of their hammocks, fortunately for me, the way the trees were, I was protected from the storm but the rain was bouncing knee high from the floor and there was practically a river flowing underneath me.

The next morning we had to abandon the rest of the trek as the majority of the team was deprived of sleep and lacking energy and with a high chance of this happening again as a team we couldn’t risk it so we begun our 4 hour trek back to the start. Once we were back we booked the same hotel in the capital that we had stayed in previously. This came out of our budget that we hadn't planned for but we were reassured that World Challenge would reimburse us via Western Union. We now had an extra two days to recover and we were told by the leader that the monsoon was one of the worst he had seen!

We then booked our coach to take us 10 hours south to a town called Pakse where we then had a day to settle in and book our trek that would take place in Xe Pian National Park covering 930 square miles and was also home to loads of wildlife such as elephants, Tigers, yellow-cheeked Gibbons, gaurs, dholes, Asian black bears, sun bears, bantengs and the critically endangered Sunda pangolins and reptiles including Siamese crocodiles and Cantor's giant softshell turtles, both endangered.

On this 5 day trek we saw loads, everything from ingredients that are used in medicine to an 80 ft tree to animals such as elephants and exotic birds. The trek although challenging was so rewarding in the sights, sounds and fresh smells. We were the first team to complete the full trek as the 2 previous teams that had tried before had given up or had to end it early. The jungle was also riddled with bugs and insects including brightly coloured butterflies to spiders the size of my palm and loads of frogs! Each camp offered something new. One camp had a lagoon we could swim in under a small waterfall and the next had a brilliant opening where we could look up at the thousands of stars. It was such a wonderful feeling and experience!

On our last day our trek back to the village we started at was only about 2 hours so we had time to do an extra bit. We got back had lunch and dropped our bags off before we set off on a 2 KM hike up this steep hill where we ended up about 1 KM high at an old temple which was used to train soldiers. The most rewarding thing about that bit of the hike was the extraordinary views over the acres of greenery and the village, it truly was breathtaking! That night we were also given a Buddhist ceremony to wish us good luck on the rest of our journey. The next day we had a rest day back in Pakse. We woke up the next morning to go on a 4 hour coach journey to Si Phan Don which translates to 4000 Islands as this is where the famous Mekong River splits into hundreds of estuaries forming loads of islands. These two days were to be part of our rest and relaxation where we went on a bike ride around one of the islands and also took a sunset boat tour. After these 2 days we headed into Cambodia and Siem Reap which took around 6 hours. Once in Siem Reap we stayed in a bit of luxury as we were under budget. We had a hotel with a small swimming pool and was only a 10 minute walk from the old market.

The 2 nights we stayed in Siem Reap we spent down the market where we could buy souvenirs and delicious street food! We then prepared for what I thought was the most important part of the expedition, the project phase. Our project was based on a complex called Ptea Teuk Dong which stands for coconut water house which means healing house. This complex taught women skills that they could then share such as sewing and cooking, PTD also offers free English classes and IT classes to the children of the surrounding villages. At this complex I was able to take part in a wide variety of tasks such as concreting the base of what will become a water tower, teaching English, building paths out of piles of dirt and also getting the children active by playing sports and bonding with them. The whole team grew to love all the staff, women and children at PTD and it was so sad to leave after spending 5 action packed days there. We then went back to Siem Reap for two more nights.

One of the remaining days we decided to go and see Angkor Watt which is the world’s biggest religious sight and was also used in the film Tomb Raider. The temples were thousands of years old and were lost in the growth of the jungle around it but have now been restored. We got there to see sunrise over the temples but unfortunately the overcast skies blocked the sunrise, but that didn't put any of us down as we were all in awe of the sheer size and details of these temples.

The next day we traveled to the capital Phnom Penh where we went to see the killing fields and S-21 which was used during the Khmer Rouge and the reign of the dictator Pol Pot. this was the place where he used to torture and kill anyone that had an education as he saw these people as a risk to his party. Visiting there was devastating as his only happened fairly recently but in a way it was also nice to see how quickly Cambodia has bounced back from this horrific period as the people are so welcoming and friendly! We then spent two days on a beach on Otres. this was so nice to complete the team bonding! Beautiful sands and a breathtaking backdrop was a nice way to draw the expedition to a close. But team Sanders were no done yet as we were well under budget so our final night back in Phnom Penh we splashed the cash on a fancy hotel and a 3 course meal where each person made a speech which got quite emotional!

The 19 hour journey back to England went rather quickly and everyone was now desperate to get home as a month with no contact was hard at times. When we drove through the school gates parents welcomed us with balloons and banners which was overwhelming and marked the end of an action packed, life changing and phenomenal expedition with 20 other people I now class as family.

Jack is a team member at Hylands

07August

Hylands tennis youngsters challenge parents on court and raise £180

Trainee tennis leaders at the Hylands Tennis Club held the club’s first Parent and Child tournament that saw grownups and tots and others in-between pit their racquet skills against each other on Sunday 19 July to raise £180.

Sixteen teams registered for the tournament, with each team made up of one child and one parent. Training racquets and balls - and a short court - were used to level the playing field and prevent burgeoning Murrays and Nadals from using strength or experience to annihilate others at the club. The only skill that was useful was patience.

The four tennis leaders, aged 13 and 15 years, had spent weeks organising the tournament as part of their three-month leadership training course to become game ambassadors in their club, schools and communities. They had arrived an hour earlier to put the finishing touches to their first tournament.

Players young and old put their all into it. Children fell out with their parents who they felt were not pulling their weight, while parents who had last played using wooden racquets saved their breath for the mad dashes to the net, just grateful that they didn’t fall on the way.

After highly competitive playing and close results, the semi-finalists were announced consisting of the Dar pairing, the Jones pairing, the Walsh pairing and the Paige pairing.

Finally, the final arrived, with the Paige family and the Dar family, battling it out. The Dars were the tournament winners, with the Paige, Walsh and Jones families finishing off in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively.

Club administrator Giorgio Federico Bugnatelli said:
“The Volunteer Involvement Programme (VIP) plays an integral role in the delivery and development of sport, play and leisure activities within Hylands and it starts with young trainees completing the Tennis Leader Awards. Our young people volunteer because they want to do more and I feel privileged to see them blossom in self confident and yet compassionate individuals. They make us proud. ”

Kimberley, one of tennis leaders said: “I was a bit apprehensive when we started planning the tournament. We had never done anything like this before. But the skills we had learned when training to be tennis leaders helped us put together the tournament and made us realise we could do anything if we put our minds to it. Everybody worked hard as part of the team, and it was due to this that we managed to bring it all together. I can now confidently face any challenge put before me, as with a little planning, you can achieve anything.…..”

A parent at the club said: “A fantastic and well organised day run by Hylands tennis leaders, which enabled me to play tennis in a fun, enjoyable way with my daughter”

And another added: “The tournament was a great experience. It was really good to see so many families coming to support the children in their fundraising effort and also to have some fun. It brought us to get together as a club and made us appreciate that we could achieve great things if we worked as a team”

After this brilliant success, the young tennis leaders are planning to make this an annual event.

<<  1 2 [34 5 6 7  >>