Monthly Archives: February 2011

On finishing the NCTJ fast track course….

Hiya everyone,

Sorry I’ve been a little quiet of late, I’ve been absolutely run off my feet with the National Council for the Training of Journalists course and final exams. However, after a gruelling five months, I’ve finally finished and extremely relieved to be able to now move on with my writing and teaching career.

I’m currently in the middle of my PTR ACE course, which will hopefully award me my LTA British Tennis License. I have another three days of the course starting this Saturday 12th Feb and can’t wait to hang out with all of the great players and of course the wonderful PTR teachers, my friend and coach, Clive Carrigan (PTRUk Director) and his brother Johnny who runs all of the PTR’s brilliant courses throughout the year across the country.

Unfortunately, due to funds being spent on the journalism and tennis courses, I won’t be joining them at the PTR International coaches symposium in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in just over a week’s time. I’m hoping though, that I will be there next year promoting myself as a possible editor of a new tennis magazine and website.

I met a very successful publisher this weekend who was extremely interested in my ideas at a casino of all places (I was there with my parents and we only gambled about 20 quid between us haha). Keep your fingers crossed for me that something will come of this.

I have also been asked by two separate tennis companies to undertake some PR work for them, so I really feel I have begun to carve out a niche for myself. I’m extremely proud to say that I am approaching the 1000 mark on Twitter which I feel is a great achievement. It is certainly a confidence boost to be followed by some of the best tennis writers/editors/coaches/players and companies world-wide.

I have thoroughly enjoyed tweeting live through matches and joining in with the global dialogue between the most ardent of tennis fans. If you aren’t on Twitter yet, you really should give it a try: it’s a fantastic networking tool!

At the moment, I am helping quite a number of GCSE students through their coursework and preparing them for their exams. For some reason, I am always drawn back to teaching. I always feel happier after helping and inspiring these teenagers to want more and aim higher. The look on their faces when they start getting excellent grades and soaring to the top of their classes brings me so much happiness. Some of my past pupils are now in their third year at university and are about to graduate; I am so proud to have set them on that path and every one of them keeps in touch with me which is great.

I watched The King’s Speech this week and I could really relate to the friendship between the King and his speech therapist. I taught a boy with a stutter for three years and he went from a D grade in English to an A for GCSE and achieved a good A’level result. He now sends me short stories to read, which is great and we meet for a coffee now and again.

So for now, it seems I have to make a decision between staying freelance so that I can combine my teaching, coaching and writing or throwing myself into becoming a full-time editor. Whatever I choose, I know that I will always be mentoring at least a handful of teenagers – it seems as if it’s my destiny somehow.

Anyway, I’m off to sleep now as I’ve organised a hit with a former Futures tennis player at the Globe Tennis Club in Hampstead North London tomorrow and I’m seriously unfit after five months of studying!

Thank you all for your support,

Love Melina xxx