It takes time to recruit and develop a volunteer base; identifying community leaders that can volunteer their time and follow through with responsibilities. Break responsibilities down into smaller projects with clearly defined and realistic duties and expectations. Our Jr. Tennis Committee developed 11 subcommittees with written duties expected of the volunteer subcommittee chairman. Several of the Sub-Committee Chair positions have already been filled.
Bright shades of the court color for the 60' lines are sometimes distracting to full court players and darker colors are hard for 10U kids to see. We used US Open blue for the inside color and a 50 / 50 mix of the light blue and US Open blue which makes a slightly lighter blue line for the 60' court. There have been no complaints so far.
1. Start by selecting a team of teaching professionals to lead the tennis assemblies at multiple schools on multiple days. We delivered all-day 10 and Under Tennis assemblies at 6 elementary schools to an average of 800 kids per school.
2. It is hard to predict the number of participants that will attend a tennis festival based on an open invitation given at a school assembly. Get strong commitments from multiple people/partners to prepare for an uncountable number of children for the tennis festivals. We delivered 3 successful 10 and Under Tennis festivals (2 hours each) on successive Saturdays in May at 3 major public parks in the community. (500+ participated).
3. Make sure the tennis festival flyers that were produced and printed actually made it from the kids' to the parents' hands and eyes! We handed out local tennis program/summer camp information to all parents in hopes of getting their kids involved in tennis at the parks.
Seven schools delivered a Kids Club tennis program in the Spring of 2011 with over 100 kids participating; equipment was provided through USTA Target Market Initiative funding; teacher training was conducted and 10 and Under Tennis curriculum was utilized; 10 and Under Tennis banners, customized Kids Club flyers, and Let's Move video were provided to each school; an end of season Festival/Play Day was held involving 3 schools and 50 kids at a facility with a 10 and Under Tennis permanent court.
The first six weeks was to introduce the children to the game by teaching them the fundamentals using the 10 and Under (QuickStart) Tennis play format, allowing for instant success and love of the game. Our follow up opportunity was to ensure that they were connected to a tennis program that offered low pressure team based competition similar to USTA Jr. Team Tennis to get them hooked and keep them playing!!!
Step 1: We issued flyers thru each school promoting a FREE Festival for all children 10 and Under; held on a Sunday afternoon for two hours, with snow cones, inflatable’s, and age appropriate tennis activities for 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10 year olds.
Step 2: During the festival and also thru the schools again, flyers were issued to the parents promoting Phase 1: the Kid's Club; a six week tennis club was held every Sunday for 1.5 hours at the High School Tennis Courts, cost $25, and every child received a new tennis racquet. On the last day of the session, parents were given information about phase two to ensure that we connected each of these children to another tennis opportunity, as well as, the free membership offer that is available thru the USTA. We also promoted the program to the existing Kid’s Club participants.
Step 3: In Phase 2, the next six week program was held at Padre Isles Country Club. This particular program was geared more towards team based play. It cost $35, and runs again on Sunday afternoons for two hours. The first hour is spent allowing the children to play matches similar to a 10 and Under Jr. Team Tennis match. The second hour is free swim for all of the children.
The Flour Bluff Kid's Club was a resounding success. 57 children participated each week, and 21 of those children continued on and are involved in the latest program being run at Padre Isles Country Club. Our hope is to eventually have these children participating in our city wide league and to replicate this model across the Coastal Bend.