To Get Young
We are a grant-giving charity (No. 1145526) created with the sole aim of increasing youth involvement in Real Tennis. Our game has too few young players and our aim is to get young people impassioned about our sport and to harness the enthusiasm, knowledge and skills of the games professionals and its clubs.
What we do
This Season's News
A video explanation of Real Tennis
How? A selection of coaching videos to watch & help with coaching ideas
Latest news .....
From time to time it is good to highlight clubs where a Dedanists' Foundation grant is making a real difference. In particular we are focusing on the importance and effectiveness of our grants to the Oratory and Holyport.
Rob Fahey writes.....
When we arrived in 2020/21, The Oratory had no juniors at all. Understandable as the combination of few members and lock downs meant that Juniors were not one of the top priorities.
By 2022 we were in a position to talk to the Dedanists' Foundation and start to formulate a plan of attracting (non school) juniors to the club. The Dedanists@ Foundation saw an opportunity to engage Levi Gale as a big part of this project and the hard work he put in during the early stages made it easier for Claire and I to move forward. I have no doubt that Prested Hall is now benefiting hugely from having Levi work his magic with juniors.
Lock downs meant that we were attracting a relatively young membership to the club (work from home was a boom for RT) and so we were able to get anyone with children to bring them along for a try. Further to that we were placing Facebook posts around all the local village pages including junior sessions. We advertised in our local monthly magazine called "Round and About" which reached over 20,000 households and we asked them to do a piece on us and Real Tennis, again including junior sessions. We quite quickly had 3 younger juniors and 3 older juniors coming to two separate sessions a week. A slow but steady start.
We next approached the local schools and this proved to be very difficult to get any positive outcome. School resources are very stretched, from the timetable to bus and staff availability. Ultimately we managed to get one of the local schools, Goring Primary, to commit to a term of Real Tennis for year 6. The kids and teachers love it! Contacting all the local schools proved invaluable and we now get involved in their individual fund raising events. Schools in the area know that we will always offer free lessons as part of their fund raising efforts and so we get a few families coming through the door every year. I have attracted 8 new members as a side benefit of this tactic.
We have stayed consistent with our approach and over the past 30 months we have had 43 (non school) juniors participate in our sessions, 13 of those girls. Of the 43 we have 38 that continue to play over what is now 5 hours a week of court time run by myself, and incredibly generously by my wife Claire in her spare time. Not something she has a lot of! Katherine Carney was one of our original 5 having contacted us after reading our editorial piece in the local newsletter. Last year she reached the final of the Girls Junior World Championship and more recently was the finalist in The School Girls Singles Championships and was a winner in the doubles. Katherine is now fully focussed on Real Tennis, playing two singles a week with a lesson on top. Having taken advantage of Dedanist's Foundation subsidies initially, Katherine is now fully funded by her parents and plans to go onto bigger and better results.
We look forward to many more of our juniors committing to the game over time and we are extremely pleased to be adding our success here at The Oratory to that of so many other clubs who have been supported by grants from the Foundation.
Claire and I would like to express our gratitude to the Dedanist's Foundation for making all of this possible. It really is making a difference!
Holyport Real Tennis Club
Josh King writes...
Thanks to the financial support we have received from the Dedanists' Foundation we are starting to build up a good number of regular junior players here at Holyport. Their support in enabling us to hold "Junior Open Days" at the club was a great starting point. I think the next step is to start getting them involved in some junior inter-club fixtures. I remember from my time at Radley there was a Peter Luck-Hille Cup, where juniors would play juniors from other clubs and Holyport would now like to get involved in this competition.
From a starting position of no Junior players when I arrived we now have junior players with handicaps of 39, 42, 58, and 63.
We also have about 10 Eton College boys with handicaps from 62-72 and 10 other youngsters ranging from 85-95.
The growth in our junior section over the last year has been hugely aided by the support we've received from the Dedanists' Foundation, so thank you again for all you do for junior Real Tennis!
PLH Cup Tournament reaches Semi-Final Stage
The PLH Cup tournament is sponsored each year by The Dedanists’ Foundation. 12 junior teams entered the event and the four clubs that made it through to the semi-finals are Wellington, Cambridge, Oratory School and Oratory Club. This inter-club junior team competition is aimed at giving juniors who are relatively new to the game a chance to take part in team matches and meet their junior counterparts from other clubs. The semi-final matches will take place over the weekend of 23rd/24th March and the Final will be played at Wellington on June 2nd.
RTC v Oratory School
Wellington v Seacourt
Community Coaching starts at MCC
Support from the Dedanists' Foundation has enabled the MCC Head Real Tennis professional, Chris Bray to set up an exciting new junior scheme at the famous club. The MCC Indoor Cricket School and Westminster Borough Council provide cricket to local state school children at Lords. As from February 12 – 16th half term break they will also be getting on to the MCC court for Real Tennis coaching with Chris. If deemed a success, then this will become a regular feature during all subsequent school holidays. The Foundation is particularly delighted that this initiative is centered around state schools, an area that is very much at the core of what we do.
New Videos to help Juniors
We all know how difficult it is to explain the rules of our wonderful game to someone who has never played Real Tennis before. Paul Weaver recently started coaching a new group of 8-12 year olds at Seacourt and was worried that juniors were being put off the game as it appeared to be too complicated. He realised how much simpler it would be if there was a series of really simple videos for the juniors to watch at home so that they could start to understand the basic rules.
As a result and with funding from the Dedanists' Foundation a series of 3 short videos have now been made to help juniors to understand the game. Details of these videos have been sent to all UK club professionals who may be able to use them at their clubs. The videos have been posted on youtube and are available to view on YouTube as follows:-
Video 2 Serving https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqRZ37dXdYg&t=176s
Video 3 Winning Openings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yTGwRTxhsM&t=56s