Global tennis star Andy Murray has inspired a Dundee racquet sports business to keep kids active during lockdown.
While Racquet Buddies classes are temporarily put on hold, owner Hayley Donnelly was eager to set children a fun and memorable challenge while encouraging them to keep working on their skills.
Inspired by Andy Murray’s 100-volley challenge, motivating the nation to complete a sequence of 100 volleys with a partner, Hayley tasked 100 of her local “buddies” to practise hitting balls, balloons or shuttlecocks in their home or garden.
After the 100 volley challenge set by Andy Murray, the Buddies taking part in our online content decided to get involved…….and also a very special finish to our video from a very special girl who is forever a Buddy, and forever in our hearts 💕🦄A special mention to Charley for providing the music for our video, and a huge thanks to all the parents and kids for making this happen ❤️Enjoy, and please share the hell out of this!!🙌🏻🎈🎾🏸
Posted by Racquet Buddies on Saturday, 25 April 2020
She has now released a video showcasing the children’s skills, the youngest of whom is just two years old.
The video pays tribute to former Racquet Buddy Ruby Stewart, from Inchture, who died in January aged six after living with cancer for three years.
It also features a rendition of “Hit me with Your Best Shot” by Charley Davidson whose nephew attends Racquet Buddies.
Meanwhile, Hayley has also created an online version of her class tuition, with a package of fitness and skills activities issued to parents and carers each week. A real family affair, Hayley has created the online content in tandem with her sons, Murray, 10, and Fraser, 7, attracting sign-ups from about 100 families.
Hayley said: “Lockdown is a strange time for us all so I was keen to get the children involved in a fun and memorable activity they can look back on, to be part of something even though we’re apart.
“I also wanted to give the parents something back as a ‘thank you’ for supporting Racquet Buddies through this uncertain and difficult time, and to provide a fitting tribute to our former classmate Ruby, who would have loved taking part in this challenge if she was still with us.
“Seeing the children’s little faces on the videos, either completing their weekly tasks or taking part in this challenge, has been a great way for our buddies to collaborate from a distance, stay active and work on their skills.”
Racquet Buddies offers classes for two to five and five to 12-year-olds, with toddlers learning transferable racquet skills which can be used in tennis and badminton, developing their motor skills and co-ordination, as well as listening and social skills. Primary schoolers go on to learn about specific strokes, techniques and tactics for playing in a competitive game situation.
The seeds of Racquet Buddies were sewn back in 2013 when Hayley, a former primary school teacher who also represented Scotland in badminton at senior level, spotted a gap in the market for her then toddler son, Murray.
Earlier this year, Hayley announced plans to franchise the business, opening up opportunities Scotland-wide for like-minded people with a passion for racquet sports and working with children.
To watch the video, or to find out more, visit racquetbuddies.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.