The first ISF Tennis World Schools Championship was held in Dusseldorf and was followed a few years later by Championships in Hatfield, England. After two further events in France and Poland, tennis became a full ISF sport in 2007.
The Championships in England were held at Queenswood School, which has a long history of involvement in schools tennis. They have won the National Schools Championships many times and they represented England in ISF Championships in 2009 and 2013.
I first became involved in the ISF at Hatfield in 2003 when my school provided the Guides for the visiting teams. Over twenty Year 12 and year 13 students, many of them studying French and German, arrived daily at Queenswood School to support and accompany their teams throughout the week. The opportunity to speak foreign languages in the weeks before important examinations proved very valuable for the Guides, one of whom was able to use the experience to discuss the Championships in detail (including issues surrounding the pressure in the tennis balls and its impact on the height of the bounce). Friendships were formed and three Guides visited members of the Australian team the following year as part of their Gap Year travel.
When Tennis became a full ISF Sport in 2007 the Technical Commission was appointed. I was delighted to be accepted as a member of this group and together we wrote the Specifications for the ISF Tennis World Schools Championship in Loches, France in 2008. Since then we have run three ISF Tennis World Schools Championships - Eupen, Belgium 2009, Le Touquet, France 2011 and Albury, Australia 2011. We met at the National Tennis Centre in London in October to plan for the Championships in Doha, Qatar in March 2015.
Our Tennis World Schools Championships are growing in popularity, each time we have more competitors and an even bigger Championships. 19 Boys' teams and 17 Girls' teams have registered to compete in Qatar. They will play on courts already used by international stars such as Nadal, Federer, Murray, Azarenka, Smith and Petrova. It will be fantastic! We look forward to seeing you there!