Open Letter to Women at the Club

Your Management Committee has started to consider a programme of tennis activities that we could offer you once we have completed the construction of two new tennis courts later this year. To that end, Duncan, our Club Chair, facilitated a good discussion with a number of our women members, in which we focused on the opportunities to build-up the women playing side of our Club and address some of the barriers to  having a vibrant women section in the Club.

We have well over 50 women members and research carried out last year by the Lawn Tennis Association, tells us that the majority of women club players across the country want to play more, currently play with smaller groups of friends and struggle to find players of their own standard to play with.

In terms of the key barriers to sustaining a vibrant women section in the Club, we identified the following:

  • the current lack of court capacity available to offer more playing opportunities to our women members and experiment with some of the playing formats

  • the communication channels that we currently use do not easily enable women members to arrange to play more tennis with a wider group of Club members and new members find it difficult to integrate into the Club

  • there are gaps in the current playing opportunities for women members

Looking at the opportunities the new courts will offer us, we identified the following potential developments:

  • schedule a women’s ‘newbies’/rusty-racquets session on Saturday mornings/lunch time to enable members who work during the week, to play with a wider group of players

  • schedule a ‘newbies’/rusty-racquets mixed doubles session on a weekday evening

  • establish a club social evening during the week to enable mixed double play

  • encouraging a more social side to the tennis ‘open’ sessions, i.e. drinks and a chat after play

  • making the Wednesday evening ‘open’ session work for all abilities

  • introduce a junior club on a Saturday morning

  • extending the Sunday ‘open’ session, starting earlier with league level, higher playing ability players and ending with our more casual players, having an over-lap, encouraging more mixing-in and opportunity for improvement

  • promoting the Monday and Friday daytime women’s doubles

  • clearly mapping the new member ‘onboarding’ process and introducing a ‘buddy’ system for new members to integrate into the Club and ensure they get the most out of our tennis offering

  • finding better media formats for women members to communicate and access the wider playing membership, including official Club WhatsApp groups or using Apps

This Summer, our Management Committee will consider the opportunities to develop our playing ‘offering’ for all members, including attracting new members. However, there are some developments we can consider and implement in the short-term and we would like to obtain feedback from you. Please help us with this by completing our online survey which can be accessed via: 

https://www.kbstennis.org/kbstennis-club-survey

In the last week, we have set up three Club singles tennis ladders, with a total of 39 players. The KBS Tennis Women’s Summer Fun Ladder, enables all women members to easily arrange singles play and have a bit of fun with a ranking system. It is accessed via the TennisRugs App and if you would like more information, please contact Duncan or Justine: 

ericduncansmith@btinternet.com

justine@gardengames.com

Weina Jiang, Holly Dance, Sarah Lloyd and I are all members of the Management Committee. We will continue to work towards making our Club more sustainable and a fun place to play your tennis.

Keep in touch.

Justine Cardy, Eve Fryer, Gill Collier, Weina Jiang and Laura Kemp