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Simon Pender Director of Tennis Academy

I joined Merchiston in 2020 as the Director of Tennis to start a new chapter in my life: I have never had the opportunity to work in a school environment. I have to say that I could not have chosen a better school to start work with.

Before joining I had heard the word ‘community’ so often I was beginning to think that it was just thrown around without much thought, but I have come to understand that the uniqueness of the school is not just in its size, it is a small campus with small pupil numbers, but in its understanding of collective leadership around supporting the boys' educational needs. We believe that every boy here is on their own ‘journey’ as they move through the school and sport programme, and that surely is appealing to everyone and an inspiring message to be proud of.


I tend to, like most sports coaches, get so caught up in teaching that it’s sometimes hard to switch off so interests tend to be centred around walking, which I find very relaxing, especially listening to music, watching films or going to the cinema and watching documentaries. I always like hearing and seeing the stories of great individuals and then relating them back to the qualities we like to see from our players and pupils.


I have received some lovely feedback from coaches and players that I worked with over the years. who have commented on how much I have helped them and how much they used to look forward to our sessions. That’s always so amazing to hear and you realise then that coaching is so often about how you connect with people rather than technical teaching points.

Other achievements:
• World ATP ranking
• Played at French Open and Wimbledon
• Junior Davis Cup
• Nominated coach of the year twice

My Merchiston Connections: