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Sabrina Stocker: “Children shouldn’t feel like they’re learning, they should feel like they’re having fun.”

Sabrina in The Apprentice
Photo Credit: BBC

Fans of The Apprentice on BBC will be familiar with Sabrina Stocker. The 22 year-old appeared on the show last year and was a favourite with viewers for her bubbly personality and positive approach to the tasks set out by Lord Sugar each week. Sabrina proved to be business savvy through the process and reached the final five before being fired by Lord Sugar.

Fast forward to present day and Sabrina has married her passion for the sport and her business skills set to create ‘My Tennis Events’ which is quickly expanding.

My Tennis Events aims to make tennis accessible by giving opportunities to the community. However, it is not currently available in Scotland. The company runs over 300 competitions a year and between 50 and 200 children participate in their tournaments every weekend.

The younger children don’t get all the fun though as 120 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 in the next three months will take part in an ambassador programme which puts them through a young leaders course and gets them into coaching.

Sabrina at one of the My Tennis Events courses

Sabrina is a keen tennis player and coach herself. At the age of 7, Sabrina started to play tennis, attending lessons after school at Excel Pro Tennis in Eastcote. “I had a female coach which was rare at the time called Lisa Quirrel and I used to have coaching two to three times a week. I absolutely loved it.”

Sabrina expressed that she thinks the new LTA strategy, which named 50 Local Player Development Centres in the UK, including five in Scotland which provide support to players is making a difference in making tennis more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

She said: ““I think prior to the new strategy that there’s been a culture that’s been very hard to actually get into tennis because it’s so technical. However, with more community projects and more outreach programmes and grass root programmes it’s definitely creating opportunities so that its teaching children the basics so that they can play with their friends at any open court.”

Having experience as a coach herself, Sabrina thinks that you can learn the basic skills of tennis anywhere and by anyone. However, sees the benefits of attending a tennis lesson and a good coach can make all the difference in teaching children the sport and that incorporating fun activities into a lesson can capture the child’s attention.

She said: ““I think what makes a good tennis coach is energy because children are inspired, and the way you inspire them is by energising them by being positive and a positive reinforcement… So if you can transfer that then you’re going to have positive results.”

“Children shouldn’t feel like they’re learning, they should feel like they’re having fun… When they turn up to my tennis lesson, they believe that they’re there to have fun and play games and that’s how they learn because that’s how I’ll keep their attention and it will make them want to keep coming back.”

In January, My Tennis Events launched, along with the LTA, and events host course which will give people the opportunity to learn about management and tournament experience.

She said: “We’re really pushing the LTA to get more millennials into officiating and refereeing and we’ve just launched out first ever MTE course refereeing with the LTA. We’ve just trained up nine referees so there’s lots of different opportunities that we’ve now opened up from expanding.”


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