Castle View Academy has partnered with Greenhouse Sports to deliver a special table tennis coaching and mentoring programme for students.
The charity, which is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, partners with schools to embed full-time sports coaches who inspire students to reach their full potential and act as trusted mentors. Since its inception in 2002, Greenhouse Sports has worked with over 50,000 children helping them to better engage with their learning through sport.
As part of the charity’s collaboration with Castle View Academy – marking their first school partnership outside of London – they have provided the academy with a full-time table tennis coach and mentor, Ashely Willetts. Ashley, who has been a Greenhouse Sports Coach since 2011, is a Portsmouth native and first began working with the academy in late 2021. He was the county champion of table tennis in Hampshire and has competed at the Senior British League Premier Division.
Like all Greenhouse Sports programmes, Ashley runs coaching sessions for students before, during and after school and is embedded in the school community like a full-time member staff. This is an important part of Greenhouse Sports’ philosophy of delivering multi-hours of intensive coaching and one-on-one mentoring.
Jason Sugrue, Head of Coaching at Greenhouse Sports said:
“We are thrilled to have partnered with Castle View Academy in Portsmouth to deliver our sports coaching programme. We want more kids to benefit from our programme, we want to support more young people to engage in sport, and we want to help them gain the life skills they need.”
“Celebrating our 20th year, the goal is to help more young people across the UK, many of whom face poverty and challenging circumstances, and we are delighted that Principal Christian Down and the team at Castle View Academy in Portsmouth recognised this and have pioneered our first school partnership outside the capital.”
John McAvoy, Greenhouse Sports Ambassador, added:
“Having worked with Greenhouse Sports for a few years now, I have seen first-hand the brilliant work it does – I know the students at Castle View will see the immediate and long-term benefits of having someone like Ashley looking out for them.”
Christian Down, Principal at Castle View Academy said:
“We are delighted to team up with Greenhouse Sports as their first school partner outside of London to provide table tennis coaching for our students. Greenhouse does important work to inspire young people and help them best engage with their learning. Over the past few months, Ashley has immersed himself in our school community and his coaching and mentoring has already made a positive impact on our students.
“Following the disruption of the past two years as a result of the pandemic, it is important that we are offering our young people opportunities like this where they can be active, learn new skills and strengthen their confidence. We are very much looking forward to continuing to build our partnership with Greenhouse for the future.”
Speaking of the impact of his work at Castle View Academy, coach Ashley Willetts said:
“It’s a great feeling to be working in my home city at Castle View with Mr Down, the amazing students, and team. Since joining the school in October 2021, we have already noticed a huge difference in the students who are now playing table tennis on a regular basis – keeping them active and motivated at school.”