The Great British Tennis Weekend (GBTW) is a nationwide ‘open days’ campaign driving more people to play tennis by offering FREE opportunities to play.
GBTW or open days are a great taster for volunteering for parents, young people or your members. It’s easier for people to sign up to a one-off opportunity – asking them to give something back to make their club even better. And if you make it a great experience, they may be willing to help again.
Roles at your event
There are various roles at your GBTW event – coaches to facilitate sessions, welcome desk hosts, running the tea bar and people to sell special offer membership. If you are expecting lots of people you will need a number of people in these roles. It is important to provide a welcoming, fun atmosphere and to ensure you convert attendees with your special membership offers.
Young people, especially those who play tennis at your venue or at their school, can be a great help at your event. They should assist with an activity rather than leading it, can help set-up and act as event assistants. Please note, there are regulations around the amount of hours young people are allowed to volunteer so make sure you familiarise yourself with the regulations.
There are two key ways to generate young volunteers. Firstly, an Accredited+ coach can run a Tennis Leaders course, accessing free resources to train young people in assisting with an activity or event. It may be helpful to sign up to run the event for 13+ members at your club a month ahead of GBTW and then get them to help out on the day.
Secondly, local Secondary School pupils will be looking for volunteer opportunities as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award; ask to speak to the school Duke of Edinburgh lead and explain about volunteer opportunities at your event.
Set-up a rota and ask members to sign up for a one or two-hour slot either setting up, helping during the event or clearing away afterwards. Try approaching them face-to-face, telling them how they can act as a great ambassador for the club to encourage more people from the local community to join. By asking for just a small commitment, you should have a greater chance of success.
This is the ideal time to ask parents to donate an hour to help your venue! Ask if they can help host or run a tea/cake stall at the event while their children play. Take a rota along for when they drop their children at the Mini Tennis session and ask if they want to volunteer with a friend. Make it welcoming and easy for them to say yes! And remember parents are great advocates to newcomers – they can tell them about what their children love about playing tennis at the venue to encourage others to sign up.
If you make the volunteering enjoyable at your GBTW or open day event and say thank you, your new volunteers may be willing to help again. Have a face-to-face chat after the event about some manageable volunteer help or roles your venue needs support with to see if they are willing to help more often.
You may even find some new volunteers from your local community at your event. You can put up a poster at the event advertising available volunteer roles – the parents attending may have a transferable skill they are willing to share! Volunteer posters are available to download through My Tennis Toolkit and you can personalise them for your venue.