Vagabonds Lawn Tennis Clu was once a 7-court club with a vibrant tennis scene and iconic tournament in an ideal location in the heart of Liverpool. The venue had lost its way from a tennis point of view and was reduced to 3 playable tennis courts, no teams and was trading as a bar and social club to survive.
We Do Tennis were asked to support the venue and provide a new energy and approach. We changed the name to Vagabonds Tennis & Social Club to reflect the current trading position and created some new advertising material for the venue.
The tactic for a tennis turnaround was to have new gated access installed by the LTA and focus on pay and play income. The concern was whether bookings and online payments would at least generate the £600 required for annual maintenance of the scheme. Before the gates were installed, we developed the venue’s clubspark booking system and created a new venue. Week 1 of online booking and advertising alone generated £900 of income and £1,500 after 2 weeks. The gates will soon be installed but this venue has realised what a difference an online presence, social media advertising and a booking system can have on club demand, usage, and income.
"We have been really impressed with how quickly Nigel has been able to transform the income and playing numbers at Vagabonds. It is great to see the club busy again and we are really optimistic about the future for tennis again at our venue."
Mike McBrien – Chairman of Vagabonds Tennis & Social Club
A delightful two court club located in North Wales, close to the border with Shropshire. We Do Tennis were asked to help the club and start coaching sessions. They had not organised any coaching for several years.
By using Tennis Xpress, Tennis for Kids and other sessions we were able to deliver a full programme of sessions for all ages and players. This has now continued to ongoing weekly sessions for over 25 players, increasing the overall membership of the club by nearly 50%.
We appointed a young coach and spent time on court helping him with all areas of coaching. After the initial period of training and support we have continued to mentor him with a monthly support visit. It has been great to see a young coach flourish and develop his skills.
“I just wanted to say how brilliant the first session was. My children loved it and the quality of coaching was outstanding. See you next week.”
PARENT – HANMER TENNIS CLUB
Cutnall Green Tennis Club is situated in a small village in Worcestershire. The venue has a strong adult membership and competes in the local leagues. Junior coaching had not taken place for a period and the numbers had been extremely low previously.
We Do Tennis promoted the coaching scheme in the local schools running taster days and handing out leaflets. The initial 6-week courses started in November which is not a good time of the year to launch new coaching. The uptake was excellent with 23 children starting on new Tennis For Kids courses.
Some coaches struggle with converting players from an initial offer to regular attendance. We have a fantastic track record for this and would say the number one factor is our communication with players and parents, before, during and after the course. At Cutnall Green 24 players continued out of a potential 23! The extra player was a younger sister who saw how much fun the other children were having.
“Thank you for organising Tennis For Kids at Cutnall Green. I just wanted to say how brilliant your coach Vanessa was with the children and that we will be carrying on. We do lots of activities and the organisation, communication and coaching delivery has been the best we have seen.”
PARENT – CUTNALL GREEN TENNIS CLUB
Churchstoke Tennis Club is a lovely small village venue in the mid Powys area of Wales. The facility is 2 outdoor courts and has a small membership. The venue struggle to find enough volunteers to keep the club running and had dropped LTA registration due to failing to meet LTA minimum standards.
We Do Tennis agreed to support the venue and supply an initial resource to act as the club’s welfare officer. We completed initial work which included developing a club website, writing safeguarding policies and helping the venue become registered with Tennis Wales.
This led to the launch of a club development plan that included starting coaching on a Wednesday night and getting more than 30 local children to join the coaching scheme. This increase in use and attraction of new members has enabled a small facility plan to form planning for the courts to be painted in 2020 and a further step forward for the venue. This project has proved how a little help, linked to a strategy can save small tennis venues from being lost and a new energy can be created in a short space of time.
"We Do Tennis have been great. Our club was close to folding. They sorted out our safeguarding procedures and helped us join the LTA. We then started a coaching programme and a plan to improve everything at our club."
Jon Brook – Chairman Churchstoke Tennis Club
Norton Tennis Club has a fantastic history, and used to be one of the premier clubs in the Teesside area. Due to a number of circumstances beyond their control the club slipped backwards over a number of years and when We Do Tennis were asked to help were close to closing the doors.
We have been able to get the club back on its feet using a number of different actions. Initially we helped to get all of the LTA's requirements in place for reregistration, and helped fund this. From there we have been able to move the club online, with its own Clubspark website, ran by the club. This has enabled them to take memberships and court bookings online for the first time, giving the club contcat lists and much needed additional income.
The final part of the jigsaw saw the introduction of a coaching programme at the club. Initially run by Matt Whitaker, we ahve now been able to source, train and mentor local coaches enabling the programme to extend across multiple nights, all leading to addditional memberships for the club.
"The help and support We Do Tennis have given the club has been fantastic. THey have really helped turn the club around and give the committee the confidence in the future of the club, many thanks to Matt for all he has done"
Matthew - Committee Member at Norton Tennis Club
Humberston Country Club is an amazing country club nestled in North East Lincolnshire. With facilities including a golf course, swimming pool, wedding venue and gym, tennis was the forgotten sport at the club.
With little investment over the past years and no future plans to invest, the tennis courts were closed on 2019 for H & S grounds, with no plan to reopen.
We were approached by the current owners to see if we would be able to help kick-start tennis again at the club and in early 2020 we invested the money necessary to enable the tennis courts to become playable once again. Using an approved LTA contractor work was completed to rejuvenate all of the tennis courts at the club, funded completely by We Do Tennis.
Local tennis coaches have been recruited, to enable us to relaunch tennis coaching at the venue as soon as we are able to after lock-down. In addition we have helped the club to register with the LTA and are looking at using LTA funds to improve the venue further over the coming months.
"The tennis courts would have been lost to the local community if it wasn't for the help and financial support from We Do Tennis. We are excited about the future of tennis at Humberston"
Russell Gardner - General Manager, Humberston Country Club
Glossop Tennis Club is a fantastic outdoor venue in the High Peaks. Not far from Manchester but resides just inside the LTA County Association of Derbyshire. The venue has 4 outdoor courts with 2 of these floodlit. As with most venues of this size, Glossop Tennis Club has a fantastic small group of eager committee members keen to see the venue progress.
We Do Tennis were asked to support the coaching recruitment and transition from a previous provider. The venue was struggling to find a strong coaching candidate and the parents were not positive about previous arrangements. Our initial tasks were to cover three days of coaching whilst finding a replacement coach, plus a communication exercise to gain support again from the players and parents.
Finding a coach was more difficult than first thought. Our solution was to provide a replacement coach that travelled to Glossop and stayed over for a longer period. During this initial phase we could work more with the venue and help other areas. The two main areas we supported next were the membership process and attracting new adult members. Joining had always been done the same way. Printing membership forms off and sending self-addressed envelopes and cheques to the membership secretary. It often takes an independent view to see how things have always been done and suggest better ways. Glossop now uses Clubspark and takes membership payments online. This process is a must for all venues.
Our first membership attraction project was great fun. We delivered a 6-week ‘We Do Starter Tennis’ course targeting female players. With 10 ladies signed up we delivered great coaching, created a WhatsApp group and got the group to attend the venue for an extra practice night. To attract and retain new members, venues need to do each project well. We have seen lots of coaches or venues put a course on and be surprised when hardly any of the new players join at the end. We signed up all 10 players to continue coaching and pay £100 each for membership. An extra £1,000 in venue funds makes a big difference to most small to medium venues.
"We Do Tennis have worked closely with us to help future proof our club and have increased our membership significantly through their coaching programmes. A big thanks from Glossop Tennis Club."
Marcus Gill – Chairman Glossop Tennis Club
Situated in the heart of Didsbury, South Manchester, The Northern is a unique members owned Racquet Sports and Fitness club. They offer Tennis, Squash and Fitness facilities to rival any club in the North West of England. With 22 tennis courts across 5 different surfaces The Northern is a must for any tennis enthusiast to try.
We Do Tennis were asked to review their current tennis programme, and suggest improvements that could be made. Following the review we recommended a number of changes to the operation of the programme which drove significant additional revenue and profit, encouraged retention, greatly reduced the administration time needed to run the programme and significantly allowed future growth to occur with no increase in administration time.
In 2018 the tennis programme broke even. After our review and implementation of our recommendations the tennis programme made over £80k profit in 2019. A fantastic result.
"I would like to extend the thanks of the Tennis and Executive Committees for your work to date. In a word it has been transformational"
John Egan - Chair, Tennis Committee at the Northern
Telford Tennis Centre is a 4 indoor / 4 outdoor court facility in Shropshire operated by GLL. The venue has a team of coaches and a small operational team. The main challenge is location and the venue has always struggled to deliver a strong court utilisation and coaching programme revenue. The venue has been operating for nearly 10 years.
We Do Tennis were asked to support the Tennis Manager, mentor the coaching team, and produce a strategy for coaching programme growth. The support agreed was for two days per month but as with all our projects, we will provide more support in the initial stages to make changes and ensure the success of our interventions.
The venue started with 108 players attending a weekly coaching programme paying by direct debit. With a focus on the coaching team, schools’ outreach, new adult coaching and a Tennis for Kids programme, numbers have increased to 274. This growth is fantastic and is significantly the highest player levels in the venue’s existence. To achieve these numbers in a short period of time (8 months) shows what an impact an external support mechanism can have for a venue.
“We have been extremely pleased to welcome Nigel on board as a consultant for Telford Tennis Centre. With his vast array of skills and knowledge within this industry, it has been invaluable for myself, the Tennis Manager, to have Nigel on hand to offer his expertise when required and help progress the centre to where it needs to be.Thanks go out to Nigel on what he has done for us so far and we look forward to what the future holds."
Jamie McLintock – Telford Tennis Centre Manager
This venue is a true gem. With 3 indoor, 9 all year round outdoor and 4 grass courts as well as 6 squash courts, gym, bar, function room and class studio it has fantastic facilities in a superb location.
In Spring 2019, We Do Tennis were tasked to review their junior tennis programme and produced and implemented recommendations that have led to substantial increases in both the finance and the number of players on the programme.
After the success of these changes we were asked to complete a full review of all of the club operations. This included H & S, finance, membership, marketing and HR. With full agreement with the club we have changed a number of policies, procedures and operational aspects that have seen a dramatic increase in both members and profit at the club.
As an example membership at the club had been falling consistently for the past 3 years, reaching a low in July 2019. Following the changes made, the club has seen membership growth since, with an increase of over 200 members, a 16% increase, equivalent to a yearly financial benefit of over £30,000 in membership income alone.
Having worked with the Club over the past year, and helping them during lock-down, we are hugely proud of the impact we have made, and the club is delighted with the return on the investment they have made.
"Having worked with We Do Tennis throughout the past year the work they have completed has been amazing, far exceeding our expectations. Both the financial and membership numbers have improved dramatically and we are now focused on moving the club forwards rather than saving the club."
Eddy Stallworthy - Club Manager, Chapel Allerton Tennis & Squash Club
SMASH Tennis are a coaching provider working across 5 venues based in the Stoke-On-Trent area. The two owners of this business are experienced coaches and they have a great team of coaches delivering at the venues. Jack Redfern used to work for the LTA and is responsible for the off-court responsibilities with Craig Leese leading more with the team and on-court.
We Do Tennis were asked to support SMASH Tennis and review how their business operated. Our remit is wide ranging and helps with all aspects of their tennis business. An initial focus was placed on financial procedures and analysing past performance to really understand strengths and weaknesses in the operation. From this point we were able to help with next phase planning, project priorities, marketing, and support to drive participation and profit.
SMASH Tennis remain in full control of their business. They collect all fees from their customers and pay any fees relating to the business. We Do Tennis charge a monthly contribution to provide the support as agreed. More time was required in the initial stages to support changes and understand the business. In addition to time spent each month at their venues, we are on hand to answer questions or provide email support. It is a great partnership and together will really raise the bar for tennis in their area for a long time to come.
"We Do Tennis been fantastic at opening our eyes to the importance of the off-court work, their strategies will certainly help take our business to the next level."
Craig Leese – Joint Owner SMASH Tennis
One of the most rewarding function we complete at We Do Tennis is coach support and mentoring. We spend a lot of time in venues all over the UK. Helping individual coaches improve either their on-court coaching or their off-court administration and business skills is what we are about.
Some coaches come to work for We Do Tennis because they want our support and to be part of a bigger vision. Other coaches are happy plotting their own path but just want some additional support in certain areas. This can vary for each individual coach.
Ryan Evans was a young Level 2 coach that was failing in his role because he could not retain players and his coaching skills on court needed to improve. We invested time to make sure he improved as a person and a coach. We can think of many other examples of coaches at all different levels and stages of their career. Our industry does not tend to invest in individual mentors and personal development. If you look at other industries this is common practice.
"We Do Tennis have saved my career in tennis. I started as an apprentice coach and knew that I loved tennis. But I found coaching and talking to parents difficult. Nigel supported me from day 1 and has always given his time to develop me as a coach. I just know that We Do Tennis will help me and I really trust what they say."
Ryan Evans – Tennis Coach