Newcastle TC Open Day 25th June 2016

Newcastle Tennis Club- 100 Attending and 53 New Members

Newcastle Tennis Club had another great Open Day on 25th June 2016, 2-5pm. The weather was very kind, and well over a hundred people attended the event. Tesco Newcastle very kindly donated strawberries and cream to this event for the third year in a row, which always gives that special Wimbledon feeling of tennis in the early summer. We also served teas and coffees, snacks and juice. We had lots of Club members who volunteered, some on refreshments, some meeting and greeting, some on court, some at the admin side of things. The courts were catering for all ages and abilities as usual. We also had Swingball and table tennis available so people had something fun to do while waiting to get on court. With four courts and so many people, we divided the time into 20 minute slots, which was a good amount of time to get a taster, but proved nowhere near enough time to satisfy our visitors, many of whom had several turns because they were enjoying it so much. Club Coach Sam Clegg did another fantastic job, he is a wonder. So good at every level, the Club is very lucky.

To publicise the event, leaflets were left in all the local primary schools in the town and wider area, as well as in two of the local secondary schools, the Newcastle Centre and in local shops. Two banners were displayed, one at each end of the town; it was posted on our website, on Facebook, Twitter and reported in two local papers, the Mourne Observer and the Down Recorder. The leaflet was double sided, publicising the Open Day on one side and the Summer Camps on the other. Feedback about this leaflet was very positive, parents in particular were happy that they had one page with everything on it. It was also cost effective for us. On the Wednesday following the event, we had follow up articles in the papers with photos from the day. This was effective in prompting people who had attended, and people who had been unable to attend, to use the week-long promotional offer to join the Club.

We had discounted membership on offer again, which was valid on the Open Day itself and for one week after. We got 53 new members by the end of that week. This figure breaks down into 13 adults and 19 juniors in family groupings, and 21 individual juniors. Many of those who visited also signed up for the Summer Camps, and by the end of the day, we were operating a waiting list for these camps. We are holding six weeks of Summer Camps this year, for three distinct age groups. These are: Under 7s, 1 hour sessions; 7-12s, 2 hour sessions; 12+, 3 hour sessions. We are catering for 180 places over the whole summer.  We had to adjust some of these weeks to cope with demand, adding extra sessions for the U7 category, as we are experiencing an explosion of interest in this age group, which is just brilliant. Every time we add another U7 group, it sells out within 2-3 days. Having had such good experiences in the Summer Camps, most juniors have also signed up for the annual coaching programme too, which recommences in September. We need to clone Sam!!! We have a very happy relationship with Shimna Integrated College, who so kindly opened the doors of their brand new Sports Hall to us over the winter, allowing us to continue coaching the U10 groups when the weather was poor. This looks set to continue this year, which means we can provide all year round coaching once again. The standard of play is rising every week, and tennis is becoming one of the most popular sports in the town. Result!

Rachel Corrigan (Newcastle Tennis Club)