My name is Andy Higham. I'm a level 3 tennis coach, with a degree from The University of Exeter and I'm just setting off on summer holidays with my girlfriend, Charley.
We're off to travel Sri Lanka, planning to visit temples, tea plantations and, undoubtedly, the beach! However, after a conversation with Matt Smith... We have made a brilliant addition to our itinerary.
Matt - previously one of the top coaches with the Bath Academy network - recently embarked on a journey to deliver tennis to impoverished areas around the globe. I chatted with Matt at the National Coaches Conference about his travels, how he delivered sessions to kids and his ideas for taking the idea into an international charity.
Last year, I was able to visit my friend Harry Chaplin in Madagascar, and witness the positive effects of his developing charity project in a highly impoverished area. (Can't resist any chance to plug his fantastic idea- check out Project Tatirano).
The experience of seeing the project in Africa was amazing and through chatting to Matt about the structure of his travels we were onto an idea so I could use my own skills to make a difference.
Around 7 Whatsapps and a phone call later, Matt and his sponsors had managed to get a ZSIG mini tennis pack out to me to add on as extra baggage to take to Sri Lanka. Shown in its trial run in young Woody's frontyard (below).
A further 4 whatsapps to friends brought about contact with an orphanage in Kandy, Sri Lanka and even further to a meeting with a tennis coach who works in an academy with the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo.
To cut a short story even shorter, the plan is currently to deliver a tennis session for the orphanage and leave the pack out there with the Chief Monk. Making a connection for future tennis and increasing opportunity for all people.
Photos, videos and another blog post to follow. Please check out the @minitennisrtw social media channels (links at the bottom of this page). You can also donate towards the cause to allow more children the chance to play tennis.