The importance of female role models in sport for young women and girls has been high up the agenda of UK Sport in 2017. Now, Head Coach at Fallowfield Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club, Shikira Walker, is on a mission to use her role to inspire more girls into tennis.
Shikira started playing tennis when she was 11 years old but as, she entered her late teens, she found she was the only girl playing tennis at her local club. An all-too familiar tale for sporty girls all over the UK, Shikira eventually made the decision to stop playing the sport she had grown up playing. ‘I found it really intimidating being the only girl. It was also really frustrating as scheduled tournaments would regularly be cancelled as not enough girls had entered’ Shikira says of her experience.
Thankfully Shikira returned to the sport when she started studying at Manchester Metropolitan University and has now made tennis coaching her full time career, running her own business; Game for Life Tennis.
‘There were just so many more girls for me to hit with when I was at university and this renewed my love of the game. I hope that seeing a female coach on court will help to encourage more girls to get involved’.
Shikira started in her role as Head Coach at Fallowfield Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club in January this year and already has 40 kids on her programme. Her vision for the club is to have the programme running every day of the week, helping to inspire and develop talented coaches and players for the future.
The recently refurbished Fallowfield Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club offers players 3 outdoor astro-turf courts with floodlights, enabling locals to play all year round, whatever the weather. The club’s new access gate and online booking system also means that non-members can book available courts on a ‘pay and play’ basis from 8am-10pm daily.
For more information about the club, please visit www.fallowfieldbowlingandlawntennisclub.co.uk.
For more information about coaching at the club visit www.gameforlife.org.uk
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