Inspire

Abigail Wilkin

Abigail Wilkin

Sports Award

Age:
18

Biography

My name is Abigail Wilkin and I am 18 years old from Lutterworth, Leicestershire. I have played tennis in Leicestershire ever since I was 4 years old, and I've competed in regional and national competitions as well as winning the County Championships in numerous age groups. Throughout my tennis journey there has been a real lack of female coaches and role models, and it wasn't unusual for me to be the only girl in my training groups. I'd love to be able to change this for the next generation of tennis players coming up.

That's why I began coaching a couple of years ago when I was 16. Coaches have the chance to bring the sport to life as they deliver all the training sessions and provide support. Unfortunately for girls playing tennis, though, very few coaches are female. I completed my first 2 coaching levels to become a tennis coach assistant, and I've been working at 2 clubs in Leicestershire to help out with the groups and hit individually with players too. Now, with the help of JHMT, I am able to take my ambition one step further and complete the level 3 coaching course, which will allow me to be a coach (rather than an assistant) and take on much more responsibility than before. Level 3 coaches can run sessions on their own, be the head coach of a club, and work full time if they want to. This sort of leadership is rarely taken on by females, so its important to try and break the stereotypes! The course takes roughly 5 months to complete, with 12 full days of training and 27 hours of mentored experience, which means there's lots of work to do! The hard work will pay off, though, because when I've completed the course I will have plenty of new knowledge and therefore I will be a more credible coach.

Being one of the few female tennis coaches is a great way to support younger tennis players and reduce the huge number of girls that give up. As the saying goes, 'You have to see it to be it'! I'm very excited to undertake the level 3 course and achieve my ambitions. Thank you very much for your support JHMT!

JHMT's Support

I have over the past two years massively improved all aspects of my game, and started to invest more time, energy and money into my tennis. This step up in my level has meant I have started winning more regional competitions and I played my first national competition in October 2016.

My competition highlights of 2017 were coming runner-up in the Leicestershire Women's County Closed event, winning my two qualifying matches in the 18&U national tournament in Bath and also coming runner-up in the Tipton women's Summer Open competition in Birmingham. My goals for 2018 are to increase the number of national tournaments that I compete in, and also to play an International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in Europe. It will be the first ITF tournament I have done and it will be a great opportunity to learn, play and compete in a different country. The grant provided from Inspire Awards will help massively to pay for the travel costs for the ITF tournament in early 2018. Thank you so much for your help Inspire!

Simon Taylor, Inspire Lead, said: ' We are delighted to support Abigail in developing her career in tennis . Tennis requires a great degree of physical and mental strength and we hope the grant will make Abigail's journey a little easier .

Blog

Starting my Level 3 Coaching Course!

Posted: 8th Oct, 2021

With many thanks for the continued support of the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, I have been able to start my Level 3 tennis coaching course! The course consists of 12 days, spaced out over roughly 5 months.... Read More »

Completing my Level 2 coaching

Posted: 24th Sep, 2020

I have finally completed my level 2 coaching course! The first four days of the course took place before lockdown - so everything was going to plan. I had done 4 voluntary hours and I was ready to complete... Read More »

Level 2 coaching course

Posted: 7th Feb, 2020

Over February, March and April, with the help of JHMT, I will be attending my level 2 tennis coaching course at Loughborough University.

The tennis coaching courses are designed to get people into coaching... Read More »

ITF Tournaments

Posted: 21st Jul, 2018

In April 2018, with help from JHMT, I went and played my first ever International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament in Gran Canaria. It was a great experience, and although I got knocked out in the first... Read More »