Need for Money
The T&RA finances are in a satisfactory state having been carefully managed so as to cover routine expenditure out of subscription income with grants and tournament costs coming from individual donations and corporate sponsorship. Following the conclusion of Neptune’s sponsorship of Tennis, we now face a period where keeping that balance is going to prove extremely challenging and we need to ask donors to help us bridge the funding gap. In addition, I believe we face a real risk that we will not have the resources to meet the frequent requests we receive to provide more structural support to our games.
Our key development priorities typically fall into three areas:
- Development of new, and restoration and repair of existing Courts
- Recruitment and training of Professionals
- Participation, and in particular attracting, inspiring and retaining youth.
The generosity of historic donors and Benefactors has allowed the Association to make significant contributions to both new build (Wellington/Tonbridge) and repair/improvement projects (too numerous to mention individually!) that have greatly enhanced the playing opportunities and experience for our members across the country. We have also been able to support LED lighting projects across much of the UK estate. In the past decade such payments total approximately £750,000. We have recently awarded grants to Harrow, Moreton Morrell and Jesmond Dene for significant structural repairs. We fully expect similar requests will continue to come in!
Equally importantly, it is critical that we enjoy the support and capabilities of a skilled and inspirational set of professionals who are able to draw new players into our games and inspire both young and old to greater heights of play. Both games are suffering from an ageing professional profile and a serious shortage of young professionals which, if not addressed urgently, will leave many Clubs and Schools without a suitably equipped professional teams able to teach to a high level and to drive the courts’ success. With your support, we are financing major programmes in both games to subsidise the training of young professionals so that the next generation can be as fortunate as many of us have been, to be taught and inspired by great coaches and players.
In both Tennis and Rackets we are actively encouraging youth participation through Tournaments, awards and tailored training programmes. With the kind support of the Queen’s Club and the pro team there, we are seeing heightened activity from school leavers particularly in Rackets. In Tennis though, only one of the top four Under 18’s is British and the Under 18 British title was won by an American who beat a French boy. We need to do better at attracting top talent to our games.