TENNIS: Jade geared up for an inspiring challenge

Jade Windley
Jade Windley

Tattershall based tennis star Jade Windley is going back to school - and she couldn’t be happier.

Windley, currently battling a worrying back injury, has been signed up by backers of a new project called ‘Beyond the Baseline’.

It is run by Maggie Alphonsi, a member of the England Women’s Rugby Union squad which won the World Cup.

The project involves six current and former professional tennis players going into schools to inspire teenagers to realise their goals.

Jade said: “It’s only just starting up but it’s all very exciting and I’m really look forward to it.

“The main objective is to visit assigned secondary schools around the country in order to inspire a select group of pupils with our tennis experiences and achievements.

“The aim is link our experiences to key employability and life skills that everyone needs to be able to reach their goals, not just in sport but in general life.

“I think the project will be really beneficial, not only in getting the younger generation on the tennis court but also developing their life skills so they can achieve whatever they set out to do.”

Another player signed up to the project is Katie O’Brien who, like Jade, has appeared in some of the world’s top tournaments, including Wimbledon.

Jade has already been ‘booked in’ at a couple of schools in the Hull area and is keen to add others.

She said: “I’ve met Maggie and she’s a really inspiring person.

“It will be great to get into the schools and hopefully what I’ve been through will help inspire the pupils.”

The project comes at a perfect time for Jade, who admits she is still struggling to shake off a back injury that has sidelined her since last summer.

She is determined to play again and has sets her sights on a comeback this summer, although that might come too late to help her achieve one of her own career goals - another appearance at Wimbledon.

In the meantime, Jade is hoping coach youngsters at the Woodhall spa-based Tennies Buddies.