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Project information

Free community tennis coaching in 10 public parks

We will increase the number of people playing tennis in disadvantaged communities by encouraging children and their families to take part in the sport every week, for free. Free tennis coaching will be offered in 10 public parks around the country running for 2 hours each weekend.

April 2013 - September 2014

Charity information: Tennis For Free

Tennis For Free logo
  • Need


    Weekly tennis participation fell by 85,000 to just 402,000 between 2008 and 2011. Over the past 10 years 2/3 of all public park tennis have fallen into disrepair due to under-funding and lack of use and have been demolished. Tennis is a prohibitively costly sport for many families and is only played by 2.1% of the population , despite being the second most 'followed' sport in the country. Tennis for Free is ambitious: we want to increase tennis participation by 100,000 over the next 5 years.


    Our free coaching schemes are accessible to everyone, and offer free access to courts, coaching and free use of equipment. We expect each tennis coaching hub to attract between 364 and 500 newcomers to tennis each year, with a total of 2,184 attendances, or over 20,000 attendances across the duration of the project. Establishing vibrant tennis communities in public parks can help improve participants' health, promote social inclusion and reduce antisocial behaviour.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To offer free weekly tennis coaching in 10 public parks around the country attracting new players.


    » Research and identify suitable public parks with at least 4 tennis courts, by liasing with local councils, the LTA, tennis clubs and coaching teams.
    » Appoint CRB checked and enthusiastic coaching teams to run the free coaching sessions.
    » Devise appropriate promotional material (leaflets & posters) and circulate to local schools and community outlets to promote the scheme.
    » Monitor uptake of free sessions through bespoke software and manual recording and oversee their running to ensure effective onsite management.

    What success will look like

    Success will be attracting at least 360 new players to each coaching site (3,600 over the year) and retaining participants so that they attend at least 6 free coaching sessions.

  • Impact


    The project will play a part in helping to reverse the decline in UK community tennis participation. It will also help to safeguard public park tennis courts from demolition by ensuring their regular use.

    We will demonstrate success by monitoring the number of participants in the scheme and seeking feedback on its effectiveness. We will work with the LTA to identify 3 of the most delapidated courts and seek funding from Sport England/the LTA to refurbish these.


    Risk 1: We do not attract enough participants to the scheme. The sessions will be promoted through 10,000 leaflets per site distributed through schools and other outlets. Risk 2: coaches not attending sessions due to sickness or holiday. A TFF manager will be appointed to ensure that the correct number of CRB checked coaches are available for each session. Coaches will be contracted to communicate their availability with enough notice for replacement coaches to be found if necessary.


    Donors to this project will receive a monthly email report on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming site launches and update of the free coaching sessions at sites launched.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £55,000 Tennis Coaches Free coaching for 2 hours each weekend for 50 weeks at 10 sites
      £15,000 Equipment Secure storage, tennis racquets, balls, nets and cones on 10 sites
      £20,000 Management Cost of research, council liaison, overseeing coaching sites, monitoring uptake
      £10,000 Publicity 100,000 leaflets, posters, on site banners

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Anonymous donor £40,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Tennis for Free has researched numerous potential courts located in areas of high deprivation with the aim of launching our free coaching programme in 10 of these in 2013. The locations have been carefully researched to target areas where people are most likely to benefit, by liaising with local councils, the LTA, sports clubs and cross referencing information with the latest figures published through the index of Multiple Deprivation. The exact locations will be confirmed in the coming months


    As noted above, we will target specific areas of deprivation in which to launch our schemes. Residents local to the tennis courts identified, for whom playing tennis may have been prohibitively expensive in the past will be targeted through liaising with local councils. Local schoolchildren will be encouraged to participate and the scheme which will be widely marketing through local schools.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Over 7 years, Tennis for Free has developed a track record in designing and delivering effective and successful community tennis initiatives. We have recorded attendances of 70,000 at our free coaching sessions since we launched in 2004.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Paul Jessop

    As CEO, Paul has 10 years of experience in senior management in the tennis industry and has strong strategic and project management skills.