Where did Racquet Buddies Education come from?

Racquet Buddies founder, Hayley Donnelly, is a fully-qualified primary teacher, having taught in the early years and upper stages. Prior to her teaching career, Hayley was an international badminton player, having been capped at senior level for Scotland, while also always having a passion for tennis.

Given both areas of Hayley’s background, it is relatively easy to see how Racquet Buddies was born and the reasons why the overall and holistic development of children is prioritised through all Racquet Buddies programmes.

At Racquet Buddies classes, which are run privately in a number of areas, children are encouraged to do their best at all times, to accept that mistakes are part of the learning process, and that we should have fun as we learn.

Hayley has been driven to create a format through which both pupils and teachers can benefit, and a few factors have motivated and inspired the creation of the programme:

  1. the detrimental effects that the Covid-19 has had on children, in terms of social development and physical AND mental health,
  2. the continuing childhood obesity crisis in Scotland, with over 15% of P1 pupils at risk of being obese (Public Health Scotland, 2022),
  3. the participation of girls in sport into adulthood – 81% of girls aged 5-7 meet physical activity guidelines, but this drops drastically to 49% of girls aged 13-15 (onescotland.org),
  4. cuts within education, meaning that specialist teachers are less common with many local authorities with some having no specialists whatsoever.

In the creation of Racquet Buddies Education, many more children can access a derivative of our programme which encompasses our values of working hard, showing empathy and kindness, seeing opportunities for learning, and having fun!