LTA Club & Coach Forums prove a hit with record turnout
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Over 2,800 members of the coach and venue workforce attended the LTA’s Autumn Club & Coach Forums this year - a record attendance since the forums started in 2010.
Taking place in October and November across the UK, the forums provide an opportunity for the UK coaching & venue workforce to connect, network and gain an invaluable insight into strategic priorities for the year ahead.
With emphasis placed on ‘growing your membership’, this autumn’s club forums focused on topics such as ‘what does a good club look like’, using insight from top performing clubs around the country. Taking place over the course of two hours, over 1,200 people attended 52 forums across England, Scotland & Wales – with 84% of attendees stating that the content was extremely/very relevant and 78% very likely to recommend to others.
Speaking about the forums, one club volunteer said: ‘It was great to meet up with similar sized clubs and discuss how our clubs compare. My Club is very keen to grow membership next year and we've started making plans to do this. The discussion around mapping resources was really useful and has come at the right time. We hope to use the local expertise on offer from the LTA to help us put some plans together for next year.’
Echoing those comments, another volunteer added: ‘Increasing participation is a fundamental goal for all leisure providers and clubs. The forum was relevant and provided excellent discussion points on segmentation, memberships, pricing, barriers and more.’
Since the forums, the LTA have run over 400 tailored mapping reports to support individual clubs, placing focus on:
- Understanding the local club and park landscape
- Understanding the breakdown of their own membership
- Understanding the breakdown of the local demographic
- Identifying areas to target potential ‘lookalikes’ with tailored membership offers and playing opportunities
In 2020, the LTA will be providing clubs with tailored marketing collateral and supporting guidance to help implement membership campaigns, as well as continuing to roll out other aspects of club support. These will include: good governance and management, ensuring a strong working relationship with clubs and financial sustainability.
Commenting on the success of the forums, LTA Head of Clubs, Counties and Volunteering Abbie Lench said: ‘It’s really important to support our clubs and volunteers with tailored and relevant support and these forums do just that. We’ve had a great response to the guidance and practical tools we’ve given and look forward to providing yet more support in the New Year.’
Providing inspiration for on-court delivery and ensuring coaches stay up-to-date with LTA initiatives for the year ahead, the LTA Coach Forums are a core part of the LTA’s educational support for grass-roots and development coaches across the UK. A free benefit for LTA Accredited coaches, the forums take place over four hours – with content split between on and off court activities.
This Autumn saw over 1,600 coaches attend one of 40 forums across England, Scotland and Wales, with those attending receiving 4 CPD credits. Each forum highlighted the the important role coaches play in opening tennis up, and included a sneak peek at developments to come with our junior programme as well as an update on progress made in growing the game through key initiatives.
Feedback from this autumn’s forums was extremely positive with 95% of attendees stating they would recommend the LTA coach forums to others. Speaking about the forums, one coach said: ‘Delivery was excellent and they managed the group well. It was fun and informative’.
Echoing the above comment, another coach added. ‘The forums were knowledgeable and fun. They treated coaches as professionals and respected our knowledge’.
Speaking about this autumn’s coach forums, the LTA’s Head of Coach Development and Support Merlin Van De Braam said: "The LTA Coach Forums are a great local opportunity for like-minded professionals to come together and share best practise on-court, in addition to getting key business and industry updates for the year ahead. It was great to see so many coaches committing to their professional development this year and we look forward to growing the events to be bigger and better in 2020 and beyond".