Top tennis coach is Swift by name and swift by nature!
As the world-famous Wimbledon Tennis Tournament gets under way, there’s a sporting star much closer to home who is helping to nurture future tennis talent.
Matthew Swift first came to the attention of the Liverpool Tennis Centre team back in 2021 when he attended weekly sessions to hone his tennis skills and have fun and he’s now a permanent member of staff!
He was already part of the ‘Steps to Work’ programme run by Strawberry Field, which provides young adults (18 to 25-years-old) with learning difficulties, or other barriers to employment, the opportunity to find volunteer work placements so the individual can move into employment or meaningful volunteering once training is complete.
Attending the Wavertree centre ignited Matthew’s passions for sports coaching, so he decided to complete his second phase of the Step to Work programme in the centre itself.
With no previous experience in tennis coaching, Matthew quickly began to develop confidence, introducing new ideas on court, combining skills and knowledge of coaching football, Boccia and goal ball. Matthew’s volunteering phase was such a success, it was agreed he would complete the third and final phase of the training programme at Liverpool Tennis Centre.
Matthew flourished and by autumn 2022, he was working across the full coaching programme including – from tennis tots and juniors – right through to adults.
After graduating from Steps to Work in November 2022, it made business sense for Matthew to become a fully paid-up member of staff!
Always keen to improve his skills and knowledge, Matthew also embarked on the Lawn Tennis Association’s Assistant Coach Level One qualification which he successfully completed in January 2023.
Now a coaching assistant, Matthew continues to be a key member of the team – popular with fellow coaches and the diverse range of players he interacts with daily.
He’s a shining example of how with the right support, hard work, determination and encouragement, barriers can be broken down for young adults with learning challenges in Liverpool’s communities, and they can achieve anything they want to.
The Liverpool Tennis Centre team feels very lucky to have him on the squad and are hugely proud of everything he has achieved to date and can’t wait to see what he does next!
Find out more about Liverpool Tennis Centre, the courses on offer and more details about the summer camp for kids by heading to the dedicated pages on Liverpool City Council’s website.
Matthew Swift said:
“I love being a tennis coach as it makes me feel like an important member of the community, and I’m helping people develop skills regardless of their abilities. Liverpool Tennis Centre is such a unique place – it welcomes everyone and makes tennis an enjoyable experience for all. I love being a part of that.”
Liverpool City Council’s Tennis Co-Ordinator, David Hardman, said:
“Here at Liverpool Tennis Centre we are passionate about inclusivity – whether that be in our programme for players or in our workforce.
“Having Matthew on the team is a real joy and his commitment and love of coaching is wonderful to see – he genuinely wants to make a difference and is determined to help players be the best they can. Seeing him grow in confidence over the last couple of years is incredibly rewarding and I have no doubt he has a very bright future ahead of him.”