Investing in Professionals Launch Announcement

Updated: 17 Aug 2020 See the new website
Published: 11 Aug 2020

Launching the new Investing in Professionals programme

Go to the new website Investing in Professionals

In the last few months, there has been an unprecedented level of activity among the Professionals, the Club Chairmen, and the numerous committees involved in the IiP initiative.

Much has been written about the 40+ individuals involved in producing the Programme, to whom the Steering Panel (soon to be retired) and the Tennis Community as a whole, have much to be grateful for.

As we approach the official programme launch in October, this update is designed to inform the entire RT Community as to what the programme looks like, what you can expect to see and when, who will be overseeing the various elements of the programme and where you can find out more about it.

  • Objective
  • In simple terms, IiP is intended to recruit additional trainee professionals into to the game, and to upskill existing professionals by offering access to court-related skills together with education in business skills. Participants acquire accredited status by assessment, leading to remuneration that is linked to achievement. Our purpose is to enhance professionalism in the game - our tag line is ‘Attract, Recruit, Train and Retain’.
  • What will be delivered

The programme offers new trainees and existing young professionals a highly professional educational environment in order to develop a meaningful career in Real Tennis. In tandem with court training and court-related skills, the programme offers learning and training in the business skills relevant to becoming an accredited Real Tennis professional or to manage a sports facility.

  • Who we want to attract

Emphasising the inclusive objectives of IiP, we wish to encourage all new trainees to join the programme as Apprentices. Access to the programme can be made through a number of entry paths depending on the age and training already undertaken by the individual trainee.

We also welcome existing trainee professionals to join the programme to in-fill any skills they require to achieve accreditation.

  • Who will be running the programme

From the outset, operation of the programme will be delivered through the partnership of Sports Structures and the T&RA, supervised by a panel selected from the Tennis community, which will be coordinated by the Chairman of the T&RA.

The headline tasks are identified with the following individuals, supported by a great number of professionals and other Club representatives too numerous to list here:

Training, Assessment & Accreditation

Ross Szabo (Sports Structures)

Chris Bray

James Coley

Programme Administration

Chris Davies (T&RA)

Recruitment, Selection & Retention

Steve Brewerton

Josh Smith

Host Club Liaison

David Watson

Simon Mansfield

Rob Fahey


Josh Farrall

Paul Weaver


Carl Snitcher

Financial Compliance

John McVittie

  • What has been organised so far

Most of the effort thus far has been in the design and production of the programme, including a detailed programme training manual, careful selection of the appropriate business skills training course(s), designing a selection camp for new recruits, a logbook for the trainees, the IiP website, and advertising material for the official launch and recruitment drive.

Conversations are now well underway with possible host Clubs where training will be provided, to ensure their needs are met according to the individual Club environment, objectives and financial structure. We expect there will be at least 4 Clubs participating in the programme by April 2021.

  • When does the Programme start

From September, the main thrust will be on implementation and delivery of the programme, starting with a drive for local and national recruitment.

Recruitment and Selection camps at the Host Clubs are expected to start during the last weeks of 2020, with the first Programme starting in January 2021.

  • Where the money is coming from

The IiP programme will be delivered at a cost to the Tennis Community of approximately £100,000 p.a. net of Government funding support, which currently includes a sign-on bonus which is effective for the rest of this year. The T&RA has agreed to underwrite 75% of the salaries of the trainees and will be bearing circa 50% of the total costs. The newly formed Real Champions Club is also a major sponsor. The costs are also supported by The Dedanists’ Foundation and The Dedanists’ Society, by the Overseas Associations and a voluntary court levy.

As far as is possible, our aim is to make the IiP programme cost-neutral to the participating Clubs. You will all appreciate that this is no mean feat - there is no such thing as ‘over-funding’!

  • Sustainability

As trainees are recruited and start their career path in Real Tennis, and existing young professionals join the programme at the appropriate point relative to their own career, their progress will be continually assessed and reported by Sports Structures and the training Professionals at the Host Clubs.

The trainees will be employed by the T&RA to ensure consistent delivery and reward throughout their training, which will continue through progressive levels of professional attainment. Their achievement will be recognised at an annual awards ceremony attended by our Royal Patron.

  • How to find out more about the Programme

The official IiP materials and literature will be distributed throughout the Clubs in the autumn. The new IiP website will be launched very shortly, to complement the recruitment drive.

It remains for us on the Steering Panel to thank all of the participants from the Tennis community, at every level and in every corner of the country, especially the Professionals, for their giant contribution in making this happen and for the extraordinarily patient and productive effort of our programme facilitator, John Whiting.

To a very successful launch of IiP!

IiP Website

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