The third annual Competition Organisers Camp got off to a roaring start! Friday night saw the arrival of the 15 keen organisers from across the county all eager to get to know each other better and get stuck in to a fun packed weekend.
After some ice breaking activities the group were split into three teams and after some careful thought, appointed themselves the names: The Southern Seagulls, The Pink Seagulls and Advantage. Now set up firmly in their three groups the evening was well entertained by a tennis quiz.
With 100 points up for grabs it was heads down as the teams worked their way through three rounds consisting of tennis rules, trivia and general knowledge. It was head to head right to the bitter end for teams The Pink Seagulls and Advantage, before team Advantage finally took victory in the decider question.
Bright eyed and smiling it was an early Saturday morning start for the organisers. After a quick breakfast the first stop on the agenda was leadership activities with the aim of building communication and trust within the groups. The three stations spread out in the back of the NTC gardens, which involved triangles, ropes, nuclear reactors and sheep, had the teams bamboozled at first glance.
However as you can see from the picture above they were not held back for long as they put their thinking caps on, pulled together and completed the tasks without hesitation!
Gill Myburgh, Strength and Conditioning Coach at the NTC, was on hand for the next hour, putting the participants (and some tutors) through a bit of fitness training and a grilling circuit to work up a sweat. It was panting breaths and red faces as the morning came to a close and the famished group raced to the canteen to fuel up for the afternoon activities.
After some much needed food and five minutes to catch their breath it was back onto Centre Court for the newly bonded organisers. Contrary to the morning session the afternoon’s antics were much more relaxed.
Dale Park, Equality & Diversity Manager for the LTA, along with one of the leaders, Sarah Wooding, kicked off with a focus group on Fair Play. The group found this particularly interesting as it addressed matters directly relating to them as organisers, giving them some guidance on how to deal with confrontational issues. This led nicely into the second session, which concentrated on Personal Development Planning. Here the group were able to think about careers open to them in the tennis world and sit down and talk individually with leading figures in the field they were interested in.
The traditional Saturday night Mini Tennis red competition went down a treat. The tutors also got stuck in and after two hours of tie breaks, speedy serves, some dodgy line calls and a dubious scoring format the Pink Seagulls miraculously triumphed. (Since they lost 90% of their matches, no one is quite sure how that happened!!) Then it was lights out for the night.
Spirits were high as the teams woke for the last day of the 2011 camp. A BTM session was on the cards for the first hour and proved to be very entertaining! Back in their three teams the gang brainstormed ideas for improvement for communication with players and parents before getting involved in some role playing scenarios. The Southern Seagulls certainly won the prizes for most initiative, going all out by involving traffic cones from the car park!
The morning continued with guest speaker Alex Bosshardt, Broadcasting and Marketing Manager for the WTA. Alex is also an ITF White badge official so was able to talk about his experiences in officiating and how that lead into his current job with the WTA. This was followed nicely by Tennis Umpire Lucy Grant, one of the Camp leaders, sharing her various Olympic experiences with the group.
The morning was wrapped up by coming back for a quick look at the organisers Personal Development Planning. Congratulations must go to the Pink Seagulls who eventually took the title as best team of the weekend by a margin of more than 200 points! Big hand to all involved!