A690 is an innovative youth-based organisation, operating at the heart of the Sunderland community. Created in 2002, the Initiative focuses on supporting young people at heightened risk of social exclusion - offering a wide array of challenging opportunities to over 130 young people per week.

Since November 2017, A690 has been working with StreetGames to deliver the Tennis Foundation’s winning SERVES programme, which helps to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people by building their confidence and developing their skillsets, both on and off the tennis court.

Prior to their involvement with SERVES, A690 had never before delivered a tennis session. Nowadays, the project delivers four high-quality coaching sessions per week, engaging 83 young participants across three separate venues – and involving many who had never been given the chance to play tennis before.

The project is keen to take its approach to tennis even further by getting involved with The Tennis Foundation’s ‘SERVES Social Change initiative’ – a programme that uses tennis to tackle various social issues that exist in the communities they deliver in – issues such as poor health and lacking self-confidence.

Discussing the organisation’s success, A690 Project Development Worker Nick Hill said:

“As a small organisation it has been fantastic to receive so much support through SERVES by the Tennis Foundation and StreetGames. Tennis isn’t a sport we have a history of delivering, but it is now an integral part of our sporting offer. We are in a great position to continue delivering tennis for the next year and plans are already being made to deliver additional tennis sessions. Without this support and encouragement we wouldn't be delivering such a successful programme.”

Through SERVES, A690 has also been successful in a securing a small grant to further develop its tennis offer. This will result in more sessions, more equipment and more ‘upskilling’ of volunteers to attain the LTA Level 1 coaching qualification. The project is also linking with Tennis For Free – an organisation based at the Sunderland Tennis Centre - to provide more young people with opportunities to play tennis at a high-quality, ‘aspirational’ facility.

StreetGames would like to offer its congratulations to A690 on all of their hard work!

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