Darwin teacher has ace time at Australian Open
Nightcliff Primary School teacher and tennis fanatic Mathew Ryan had the experience of a lifetime attending the Australian Open Schools Forum last month.
The Health and Physical Education teacher and Sporting Schools Coordinator was invited to attend in recognition of his ongoing involvement with Tennis Australia and work promoting tennis at Nightcliff Primary School.
“I've been working collaboratively with Tennis Australia for years, which has led to Nightcliff Primary winning the John Newcombe Medal Award for the category of “Most Outstanding Australian Tennis School of the Year in 2013,” Mat said.
The Schools Forum was held during the school holidays and focused on helping shape Tennis Australia's 2024 Tennis Strategy, including the retention of children in sport, female participation and links to community and physical activity and education.
Professional learning experts, academics, principals and teachers like Mat came from across Australia to provide input.
“The program was action packed with workshops, presentations and the opportunity to participate in practical lessons to learn more ways of teaching tennis to different age groups,” he said.
Forum participants also heard from former Australian Tennis star, Alicia Molik, who discussed how young tennis stars can still access a quality education via School of the Air and the support that Tennis Australia provides.
“It was so good to work and network with other like-minded Australian professionals in the HPE / sports industry at the forum and build valuable contacts for the future,” Mat said.
“The forum really reiterated the importance of having an equally balanced focus on skills and sportsmanship to produce well rounded students.
“For example, Ash Barty was talked about at the forum as the best role model for students for being both skilful and respectful at all times.”
Mat said he was excited to get back to school after the forum to share what he’d learnt with his colleagues and students.
“The practical tennis lessons on Margaret Court gave us more ways of teaching tennis to different age groups and we also learnt how to keep PE lessons fun by including as many engaging elements as possible.”