New Trainee Professional at MURTC through the IiP Programme
Jack Josephs starts his new career.
Jack Josephs has joined Middlesex University Real Tennis Club (MURTC) as the first Investing in Professionals (IiP) apprentice on a 15 month programme as a trainee assistant Real Tennis professional.
The programme commenced by selecting four candidates from a number of applicants aspiring to be Real Tennis Professionals. Jack successfully navigated his way through a series of interviews by the T&RA selection panel, including court time, and has now started at MURTC as trainee assistant to Chris Bray and Will Burns. The trainee position is on a full-time basis, which will enable Jack to quickly get to know all the members and students at MURTC over the next few months.
Participants acquire accredited status by assessment, leading to remuneration that is linked to achievement. The purpose of the IiP is to enhance professionalism in the game. All participants in the IiP scheme will be employed directly by the T&RA, not by a club. MURTC will make a small contribution, together with its professionals, towards the employment cost of the trainee, but will in turn be paid by the T&RA for some of the court and lesson time used.
A message from Jack:
I am 23 years old, living in Woodside Park and have recently graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Industrial Economics BSc at the University of Nottingham Business School. I have a strong background in Table Tennis, which has taken me all over the world, competing in Sweden, Israel, Austria, Germany and most recently representing my University at the Tri-Campus Games in Malaysia. I am a driven individual with a passion for all sports related activity, including the social side! I am determined to excel at the game of Real Tennis and hope to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. I am also excited to immerse myself into the culture of the Middlesex University Real Tennis Club, getting to know all the staff, members, and students. I would lastly just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to the development of the IIP programme, it sounds like an extremely exciting and unique opportunity and I am eager to get started!
About the IiP Programme:
The T&RA has recognised that over the next ten years a number of our sport’s professionals will be retiring, and overseas courts will continue to recruit professionals from the UK. The IiP programme (https://www.realtennisiip.com/) intends to replace these by recruiting up to four trainee professionals into the game each year by offering access to court-related skills combined with education in business skills. The programme offers new trainees and existing young professionals a highly professional educational environment 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 and to manage a sports facility. To attract young people into our sport as a career it is vital that they also acquire skills which are portable into other disciplines if they decide at some future point they do not wish to continue as a Real Tennis professional. Some participants, like Jack, will also be on the government apprentice scheme.
Over 40 volunteers have been involved in developing the programme, which is now run by the Operational Continuous Improvement Panel (OCIP). Sport Structures (https://www.sportstructures.com/) have provided a vital partnership throughout the process and continue to work closely on a day-to-day basis. Operation of the programme is being 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 T&RA Chairman.
The T&RA are the major stakeholders, supported by the International Real Tennis Professionals Association. There has been a remarkable fund-raising effort by the Funding Panel (led by Carl Snitcher), establishing the Real Champions Club, persuading other stakeholders (the Dedanists' Foundation, the Dedanists' Society and the LTRA) to contribute, as well as many clubs via a court levy contribution. A remarkable effort to focus so many on a common cause.
We look forward to following Jack’s journey at MURTC and watch him progress through the IiP programme.