Wimbledon is upon us! At Oxford Home Schooling, sister company of Oxford Open Learning, there are numerous young, high-performance tennis players who are studying KS3, GCSE and A level courses, hoping they, too, will one day be Wimbledon players. As members of the LTA,  they receive a 10 per cent discount on all our materials.

With high demands made upon their time, distance learning courses are often the only option flexible enough to accommodate tennis players' coaching commitments and tournament schedules, as well as being able to achieve formal academic qualifications.

At some stage in their future, whether due to injury or retirement, it may be important to have qualifications to fall back on.

Currently 18 high performance centres (HPCs) and four International HPCs such as Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City, provide a high-quality performance training environment for players predominantly aged 16 and under.

These ensure they have access to tools needed to fulfil their potential, which includes being able to combine education and full time tennis. There are also a number of independent tennis academies that provide a combination of an intensive tennis programme and academic study.

Players often learn through home study courses offered by Oxford Home Schooling/OOL. They may benefit from a dedicated study environment at the tennis centre, with sessions carefully structured into their weekly schedule.

An academic mentor or manager may oversee the programme. The tennis players study the structured course materials (predominantly KS3, GCSE and IGCSEs) provided by Oxford Home Schooling/OOL and will also have the advice and support of their subject based tutors, who can be contacted by telephone and email and who mark assignments on a regular basis.

There is also ample support and guidance given on any coursework requirements and the examination procedures. Summer exams can prove difficult if they clash with tournaments, but IGCSE exams can also be taken in January.

Laura Robson has studied and taken her GCSE English through Oxford Home Schooling/OOL. A number of other students who excel in specialist areas such as drama, dance, music, golf, swimming and show jumping, also study through Oxford Home Schooling or Oxford Open Learning as they do not have time to attend full time education. Distance learning offers them the most flexible option.
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