About Social Tennis

 

Social Tennis was founded in 2019 by Gareth Clarke. Gareth grew up in Dunblane and was in the same U14 team as Andy and Jamie Murray...until they started beating him aged 9 & 10...he was then 15!

 

He didn't take these losses well and promptly gave up tennis for ten years, concentrating mainly on drinking beer. 

 

When Andy won Wimbledon in 2013 he was inspired to give back to the sport he loved as a junior. He did his LTA Level 1&2 coaching badges and also the tournament organiser course, enabling him to referee and organise tennis competitions up to LTA Grade 5.

 

 

 

Aims and Objectives

 

  • Increase Tennis Participation
  • Specifically increase the number of people playing competitive singles
  • Lower the cost of competition
  • Lower the cost of coaching
  • Create more opportunities for Team Tennis outside the traditional County Leagues
  • Grow club membership
  • Financially support the next generation of professional British Tennis players

 

 

Tennis Story So Far - 2014 to Present

 

 

Competitions

 

  • Created a web application to host LTA Grade 6 matchplays in a pyramid format for the South East of England. Over 200 players had joined within 9 months of launching.
  • Hosted regular monthly matchplay events at various clubs around London during 2019. Intending to move to weekly events in 2020.
  • Created a network of county based singles leagues called Born 2 Win Tennis. These enabled club members from within a county to play LTA Grade 6 singles matches in divisions of 5 players, playing 2 matches at home and 2 away over a couple of months. This competition grew to over 250 players per month before being sold to the Tweener Tennis App.   
  • Helped Tweener Tennis organise a National Tennis Championships for recreational players. Players used the Tweener Tennis App to compete in regional qualifying competitions, within a British Tennis Rating bracket: 1.1 to 3.2, 4.1 to 5.2, 6.1 to 7.2 and 8.1 to 10.2. Winners of each regional rating bracket won travel expenses to the National Finals where they had the chance to become a National Champion!  
  • Organised the Team Tennis for Hertfordshire Schools Years 7&8 and Years 9&10 for two years in 2016 and 2017, including organising the annual county finals at Queenswood School.
  • Created the Home Counties Cup, where club teams from the Home Counties played FAST4 matches against other teams within their county, then teams in neighbouring counties, before reaching a Central London finals day.
  • Created a Corporate Tennis team competition in London where you represent your company or organisation. Over a few years this became very popular with over 300 players involved annually. The competition was sold to Tennis Holiday Providers Active Away in 2018 but Gareth remains involved. 

You can see all the historic competitions and results by clicking here.

 

 

Coaching

 

  • Started a low cost tennis coaching programme in the village of Roydon, Essex. Both juniors and adults have a weekly term time lesson on a Saturday morning, with a LTA Level 4 coach for only £15/month. 
  • Started another coaching programme in Thelnetham, Suffolk. Running Tennis 4 Kids sessions and Tennis Xpress for adults. He also ran the Quorn Family Cup allowing parents to compete with their children.  

 

 

Voluntary Club Work

 

  • Joined the Roydon Tennis Club committee and helped double membership through a range of initiatives. Started up a coaching programme. Created an annual club championship. Entered a team into Essex Team Tennis and County Doubles Leagues
  • Entered and captained the first ever David Lloyd Newbury tennis team in the Newbury and District League
  • Entered and captained a team in the first ever edition of Team Tennis in Norfolk
  • Helped run and organise the Wortham Tennis Club, Suffolk Pub League a fanstastic and social initiative to engage non-team players and help members of all standards interact with each other
  • Created and oranised a staff tennis club for Direct Line Group in Bromley, Kent, ran weekly sessions and held an annual championships
  • Created and ran singles leagues for Glaxo Smith Kline employees in Brentford, Middlesex
  • Organised competitions and helped increase membership at Wycombe House LTC, Isleworth, Middlesex 
  • Joined the committee and organised an annual club championships for Rye Park Tennis Club, Hertfordshire