Olney Tennis Club is a small floodlit four court club in the Northants, Bucks, and Beds borders. The club have worked hard over the years to improve participation through innovations and investment in schools, juniors and adults tennis. This has resulted in Olney Tennis Club consistently having over 300 members.
Why did they to do it?
allplay caught the eye of Olney Tennis Club’s Head Coach and former Aegon Coach of the Month, Nigel Willard. “allplay play is a fantastic vehicle to get more people to play. At whatever their standard or experience everyone can now access information on where to play someone of their level”.
Nigel is organising the local allplay challenge as part of his commitment to finding new activities and promotions to keep Olney Tennis Club a fresh and exciting place to play tennis, and raise the profile of the sport in the local area.
The allplay challenge will help re-invent the club, and due to the broad appeal of the challengers and the nature of the project, will attract a new audience and help grow membership.
How did they do it?
The Olney allplay challenge has been organised over the summer (2011) to make the most of the enthusiasm and excitement around the sport generated by Wimbledon.
Nigel identified local people that would be able to publicise the challenge and would enjoy getting involved. It was important to find people who were new to tennis to ensure that the message was clear, that tennis is for everyone, no matter what their ability or experience
The challenge was easy to get underway as all of the challengers were supportive from the start. All are well known in the town and all embrace Twitter and Facebook, and offered to promote the challenge in their place of work.
The challengers are the owner of a local pub, a local comedian, a former singer turned councillor, and the Head Teacher at a Primary School. They each have a number of different reasons for getting involved, one of the challenger’s wants to be able to play tennis with their daughter, another wants to get fit, one to be involved in a community activity, and all want to have fun and enjoy the experience.
Each of the challengers will undertake 6 coaching sessions to prepare for a match in September. Programming these sessions with 4 busy people is one of the biggest challenges and requires lots of planning.
The club is promoting the challenge in the local press, and is organising a grand finale event in September.
The Olney allplay challenge is still underway, but has so far received very positive involvement from the challengers. We will be catching up with Nigel at the end of September to get his thoughts after the grand finale.
Local allplay challenge Help and Ideas
There are templates you use to promote your allplay challenge and finale event on our allplay Resources area