The Padder Tennis in Schools Programme (PTiS)
Maximum learning & maximum fun!
We offer a nationwide educational sports-based programme to schools. Our team of experienced Padder Tennis coaches teach the fundamental skills required to go on to play racket sports like tennis, squash and padel
What we teach the kids
Honesty, Fun, Resilience, Teamwork, Leadership
Padder Tennis is a fun, easy sport to teach kids about social inclusion, mental stamina and resilience. The personal skill development taught through our programme is not just about getting good at a sport, it is far more than that. We teach them ownership, honesty and leadership with a healthy dose of competition and teamwork thrown in for good measure. Ultimately it teaches kids that whilst we have ups and downs in life, Padder Tennis helps us to fight back!
Fast and fun for everyone!
Padder Tennis offers a more accessible option to playing regular tennis. A faster game with shorter rallies and more exciting volley-to-volley combat, playground battles will make lunchtime Padder Tennis games take off at your school!
Get PTiS into your school
The Padder Tennis in Schools (PTiS) programme will give your kids the opportunity to experience, as a classroom activity, one of the fastest-growing sports in New Zealand - all the bats, balls, nets, PLUS your own qualified Padder Tennis coach! The In-Class session continues when your students click "Subscribe" to our Padder Tennis New Zealand YouTube channel. The video tutorials are great fun to watch and make fast-track learning possible during and after our 4-week PTiS delivery.
Our school's tool box
Download everything you need to get Padder Tennis started in your school. From the rules and lesson plans to funding information and a kid's pack on how to run their own tournament.
What Teachers & Kids Say
"Padder Tennis is close to being our all-time favourite game at Halcombe School. Kids bring their own homemade bats to school and the break time battles are epic! We also have an inter-house competition where the senior students battle it out. Lots of staff play too!!”
Di - Fielding, Manawatu
Padder Tennis FAQs
What is Padder Tennis?
Padder Tennis is an iconic Kiwi school playground game that is played 1 v 1 (singles) or 2 v 2 (doubles). Using smaller bats, a smaller court, simple rules, a low compression tennis ball and a fold-out net, padder tennis has been played for almost 100 years in schools throughout New Zealand. It is played to emulate the traditional tennis game and give kids the ‘big picture’ of what to expect before they decide to take up tennis at their local tennis club. Padder Tennis can also be played at home and at some council sports and recreational venues.
How much does it cost to play?
Free for schools who sign-up for the PTiS programme funded through our Regional Sports Trusts where you will receive equipment and expert coaching. If you have all the equipment in the back of the sports shed, you can use our resources to get some games up and running. Some tournaments may incur a registration fee.
Where can I play Padder Tennis?
In the school playground, at home in the driveway, in the garage against the wall and at various public spaces such as our home courts at Ōtaki Beach.
How can we get Padder Tennis to come to our school?
Please contact us directly and we will do our best to come to your school.
Is Padder Tennis a good pathway into tennis?
We think Padder Tennis is the best way to introduce kids to tennis. Historically, kiwi kids have always played Padder Tennis at school. Through regular practice at break times, kids gain the confidence to play tennis at club level and compete in local tennis tournaments. Some of New Zealand's GREATEST tennis players started playing Padder Tennis at school like Onny Parun, Chris Lewis and Brenda Perry.
What does it take to be a good Padder Tennis player?
Mindset - be able to work through problems calmly without getting upset. Movement - have the ability to move into a position to hit the shot you want AND surprise your opponent by moving to the net to volley the ball on the full Teamwork - be a positive and supportive partner when playing doubles Hand-Eye Coordination - have the basic skills to throw and catch a ball.
What equipment do I need to play Padder Tennis?
A bat and a ball. A wall to practise against. Or, a friend to play against (singles) or you and your friend (doubles partners) can play against two other players (doubles). A court. A net. Rules of the Game (see our toolbox to print out your own copy of the rules). A variety of Padder Tennis bats have been used over the past 100 years in school playgrounds - wooden bats either made at home in Dad’s shed or during woodwork class at school, the multi coloured ‘swingball’ bats that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s and the plastic blue bats that became popular in the 90’s and beyond! Now, we have a fourth option in the type of bat players are able to use. A more powerful bat made out of fibreglass which we are introducing at our PTiS programmes. Depending on what school you go to, a variety of nets can be used - a long bench seat, a metal roll-out padder tennis net, bags scattered across the court, the easy to set up in minutes fold-out net or no net at all! We use the fold-out net when we deliver the PTiS programme. A court space at least 10m x 5m (old size of our courts) to the official court size, now 15m x 6m (competition size). Check the sports shed at school and you may find a combination of wooden and/or plastic padder tennis bats. A tennis ball, the flatter the better because we need the ball to bounce low. New tennis balls bounce too high for Padder Tennis. For this reason, we use low compression balls that bounce lower and can be hit more easily for beginners. A net of some kind - a row of school bags across the middle of the court, a long bench, a rubber tyre filled with cement with a pole sticking out with a net attached, or a fold-out net with steel poles and feet.