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Loughborough University appoints new Director to lead ambitious tennis programme

Loughborough University has announced today that Helen Reesby has been appointed as the new Tennis Programme Director.

A Loughborough graduate, Helen is a former professional player who is currently the national girls junior coach and the under 14 age group captain - based at the Lawn Tennis Association.

Helen has been appointed to lead on an ambitious new programme that aims to increase participation in tennis amongst students, but also significantly to deliver a world-leading production centre, with a major focus on workforce development for the sport.

Speaking of her appointment Helen Reesby said:

“I have played, studied and worked at Loughborough, and it is an inspiring place that is very close to my heart. Therefore I am really excited to be taking on this unique new role which contains so many strands that will further develop and enhance tennis provision.

“I can’t wait to start working with the students, encouraging them to play more and helping them to develop their careers, alongside building relationships with a range of University colleagues and activity supporting the wider tennis community.”

The programme will aim to give Loughborough students the opportunity to learn all of the core elements of working in the tennis industry, including coaching, officiating/umpiring, event and facility management, and marketing and communications.

Staff from the University’s Sport Experience Team and Coach and Volunteer Academy will be involved in supporting the project and promoting opportunities to students, including the chance to gain industry recognised qualifications.

There are also plans to develop a tennis pathway built into academic programmes of study with different options for specific research in exercise and health science, sports technology, market segmentation and performance analysis.

If successful the programme will develop a workforce of voluntary and paid staff that will impact on national, regional and local tennis development.

Tim Garfield, Director of the Sports Development Centre at Loughborough University said:

“With support from our partners, the University’s ambition is to create a tennis habit amongst our students, and ensure that a life shaping experience through the programme develops them to become a highly skilled workforce for the sport.

“With such ambition in place I am delighted that we have been able to attract such a high calibre appointment in Helen as our Programme Director, and I am confident that she will help us realise our exciting vision for tennis and our students.”

In order to deliver the ambitious programme the University is being supported by the Lawn Tennis Association and the Tennis Foundation.

Tom Gibbins, Head of Education of the Tennis Foundation, said:

“The Tennis Foundation is delighted to be working in partnership with Loughborough University and providing funding to put in place some innovative and exciting new plans to develop tennis on campus.

“Helen is an excellent appointment, who will bring a significant amount of experience from her current national role and we look forward to working with her to provide opportunities for more people to play tennis and maximise their personal potential through the sport.”

Helen Reesby will commence her post as Tennis Programme Director at Loughborough University on Monday 8th June.