Get Set 4 Tennis driving inclusive and disability tennis for children and Adults in Maple Cross
Lisa and Jonathan Wildman’s Get Set 4 (GS4) Tennis programme has gone from strength to strength since formation in 2018, and thanks to a successful Crowdfunder scheme, they have the investment to upgrade their current facilities.
Get Set 4 Tennis is an inclusive non-profit tennis club based at Denham Way Tennis Courts in Maple Cross, Hertfordshire, and was created in 2018 by Jonathan and Lisa Wildman.
For the last three years, the scheme has formed part of the LTA’s nationwide Open Court disability tennis programme, which supports venues and coaches across the country to make tennis inclusive and accessible for disabled people and those with long term health conditions. It is one of the largest schemes of its kind in sport and has seen a record number of disabled people pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis since it was established following the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
For its part, GS4 Tennis has been helping local children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), mental health issues and sensory or physical impairments be active through the dedication and commitment of both Lisa and Jonathan as coaching leads.
GS4 Tennis provides engaging tennis lessons for the whole community, with outreach programmes in local primary, nursery and SEND schools, teaching almost 600 children and adults every week.
Devising specially adapted tennis coaching, team building games, multi-sports and fitness activities, the GS4 Tennis team was proud to be named 2021 Education Provider and 2021 Disability Provider by Hertfordshire LTA as part of the LTA Tennis Awards.
During lockdown the team’s commitment to inclusive tennis continued with the production of tennis at home content, whilst Jonathan attended regular online wheelchair tennis sessions to develop his knowledge and skills in this area.
When lockdown restrictions were lifted in June 2020, Three Rivers Council granted permission for GS4 Tennis to launch a range of free and pay and play lessons on two courts for the local community. There was a huge weekly uptake of children and adults, with a special focus on disability tennis as well as lessons for girls, key workers and families, plus holiday camps and child fitness sessions.
Earlier this summer, GS4 Tennis initiated an online crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the installation of two converted shipping containers to act as a clubhouse next to the courts, which GS4 Tennis took delivery of last week. Residents within the community were asked to pledge donations on Crowdfunder in return for tennis events and products, services and experiences donated by local businesses.
The aim was to involve everyone whether they played tennis or not and, impressively, the campaign raised over £3k in 41 days, which will be match funded by Sport England through their Active Together Scheme for an additional £1k.
GS4 Tennis have also secured a National Lottery £10k grant and can now invest in the new clubhouse with a power generator.
Lisa Wildman, Founder of GS4 said: “Crowdfunder proved to be a really successful way to diversify funding streams for the club.
“We worked hard to communicate our worthy cause and encourage people and businesses to visit the webpage, donate and pledge. We set an achievable target and really felt that our whole community was behind us.
“GS4 Tennis is dedicated to providing regular escapism for children with SEND to be active, make friends and explore their own sporting potential in a safe environment. Parents tell us their children really look forward to the routine, spending a few hours a week enjoying the things many people take for granted, which is our overall purpose.”
For more information on the Get Set 4 Tennis Inclusive Tennis programme visit here: