Humans of the Court: Rob's story
• 3 MINUTE READ
Humans of the Court is a content series on Instagram from the LTA, bringing you real life stories from those who make tennis in Britain what it is.
Whether they be players, coaches or volunteers, young or old, beginners picking a racket for the first time or life-long veterans, the series will showcase those involved in tennis in communities across the country and shine a spotlight on the many faces of the sport. Follow the LTA and the #HumansOfTheCourt hashtag on Instagram to uncover more stories!
Having grown up on the courts at Grantham Tennis Club as a junior, Assistant Manager Rob Start is giving back to the club that started him on his tennis journey.
After starting his working life in an office, Rob turned his passion for tennis into a career and has thrown himself into a variety of jobs, from coaching to developing new club facilities.
This year, Rob witnessed first-hand the challenges that lockdown brought for many of members of their community. With the club re-opening last week, he and the team are working overtime to bring more people to the sport and reap its many physical and mental benefits.
“I have been a member of the club for 20 years, I started playing when I was young and now work as the Assistant Manager of the club.
“I played competitively but now I don’t take it too seriously, it’s more of a social thing for me now. I can play with my friends and then go and get some lunch and catch-up.
“Before lockdown we had a big community ethos and our aim was to get everybody and anybody out playing tennis, regardless of age, ability or anything.
“Lockdown was really tough for lots of our players, as the club is one of the only reasons they leave the house.
“When lockdown was lifted it was a huge relief, we put measures in place to ensure we were Covid secure and everyone was safe to play.
“I used to work in an office but now my job is really active and really varied.
“One minute I could be coaching, the next I could be writing a funding proposal for our new LED floodlights.
“I have learnt so many news skills as I have to learn on the job quickly.
“I think people will often think tennis clubs are cliquey and for members only, but we’re the complete opposite, we welcome anyone to pick up a racket.
“At any level of the game you can work up a sweat and get the blood pumping. Our walking tennis players might not be the most active but they’re still able enjoy the physical and mental benefits.
“We also offer cardio tennis, which is like a gym session on court. High tempo music and a coach feeding balls to you as you run from point to point. You can burn up to 500/600 calories.
“A lot of people play for a release, we have lots of members who run their own businesses and when they come to play they can turn their phone off and let rip, forgetting about everything else they’ve got going on.”