Ulster Tennis Club of the Year Competition

Club of the year 2012


Congratulations to Downshire Tennis Club who are the winners of £1k prize in the first ever Ulster Tennis Club of the Year Competition.

Club representative William Boyd received the prize on behalf of the Club, who obtained a score of 80 points, at the 2012 Annual Belfast & District League Awards at Belfast Boat Club on Friday 12th October 2012.

Windsor Lawn Tennis Club were runners-up with a commendable score of 66 points. 
In third place was Irvinestown Tennis Club who collected a worthy 54 points.

Downshire Tennis Club excelled in all aspects of Club Development as outlined below.

In February this year Downshire Tennis Club successfully achieved Ulster Tennis Clubmark Accreditation.  Clubmark is a Club Development Programme, endorsed by Sport NI, which supports the development of, and delivers a quality standard for, Junior Tennis Clubs.  The programme allows parents, carers and participants to identify Tennis Clubs that have achieved a minimum standard of quality in the areas of club management, coaching and competition, safety and equity.  It also means that the Club benefits as it can provide a quality sporting experience, which is open to all and delivered in a safe environment, by an effectively managed Tennis Committee.  Downshire were the third Club in Ulster to achieve this accolade.

In June 2012 the Downshire Club launched the first ever Wimbledon Open weekend in Ulster, attracting over 150 people to the Club and showcasing tennis to a new audience.  This initiative, along with their 10 week free coaching programme promoted in local schools, enabled the Club to obtain 100 new members and is an example of good practice to Clubs across the Province.

The annual Parks Tennis NI programme co-ordinated by the Downshire Club, taking place at the local Village Centre in July, has consistently been one of the most successful across the Province since the Parks Tennis programme was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2010, with approximately 100 participating.  This has allowed the Club to promote tennis as a healthy sport for life in the community and encourage those of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds to take part.

Downshire Tennis Club has adopted the Ulster Tennis Strategic 1 page plan and is central to the strong leadership at the Club.  The Club Committee consists of 25 representatives with clear roles and the leadership is joined up from the Chairman, to the Committee, the Management staff, the Coaches and the Volunteers.  The Ulster Tennis Strategic 1 page plan allows the Club growth strategy to be integrated into Club minutes, key tasks allocated to the person accountable and rigorous follow-up monthly.

The strong Club management structures have produced a 5% increase in Club membership from 2009 to 2012 and also a 25% increase in surplus from 2010.  Ulster Tennis would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of the Downshire Club in providing good practices which have formed the basis of the Ulster Tennis Club Development Plan, particularly in the areas of membership growth and financial surplus.  Overall, the Club are firm winners of the Club of the Year Competition in 2012 and an example to all in Club Development.

Runner-up, Windsor Lawn Tennis Club, also succeeded in obtaining many points in the Club Development category.  The Windsor Club was the first Club in Ulster to achieve Ulster Tennis Clubmark Accreditation and has adopted the Ulster Tennis Strategic 1 page plan.  The Club Committee includes 10 roles and strong Club leadership is evident.  Windsor Lawn Tennis Club was innovative in 2011 by organising a Group-On deal to encourage new members to join the Club.  The Club also provide for their members and have at least 10% of their members take part in their regular Internal League.

In the categories of Talent ID and Performance the Windsor Club shone.  The Club have had junior members take part in Tennis 10 events and have themselves hosted Tennis 10 events.  Windsor also have players attend DCU Training, Ulster Full-Time Training, Club members in Irish Teams and Club members in Ulster Teams.   Congratulations to the Windsor Club on achieving a creditable second place this year, securing the £500 prize collected by Gordon Addy (see picture above) and being a role model for other Clubs  across Ulster wishing to develop.

Congratulations also to Irvinestown Lawn Tennis Club who have consolidated their Club’s position as one of the top in the West of the Province by achieving third place with 54 points and also recently being awarded Ulster Tennis Clubmark accreditation.  Ulster Tennis hope that the Irvinestown Club continues to make steady progress throughout the coming years.

Will your Club be the winner in 2013?

Start your journey today by reviewing the Club of the Year 2012 Assessment Process, Score Sheets and Guidance Notes on the Ulster Tennis website at http://www.ulstertennis.co.uk/latest-news/40-latest-news/210-ulster-tennis-club-of-the-year-competition.
If you have any queries or would like to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact the Ulster Tennis Office on 02890 383808 or at
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Ulster Tennis look forward to receiving your Clubs entry in 2013.