LTA Rally - Pay and Play
Posted 21st July 2020
Many of you may now be aware of the LTA initiative Play Your Way. There have been prominent adverts on Sky and other sports channels recently. The aim is to make tennis more accessible, more relevant to a much wider audience. There is a short video giving more detail on this link: https://www.lta.org.uk/play-
My interpretation of this is that we need to encourage everyone to play tennis in a much wider variety of settings, often with a lot less structure and formality than has been the case historically - much like people kick a football about almost everywhere, using jackets and jumpers as goal markers, often with only one goal when a small number of people play in a park, for instance. Clubs and venues across the country have been encouraged to support this initiative and open up to those who want to give the sport a try, possibly for the first time.
So as a club we are taking the first tentative steps to becoming more open to casual "pay & play". From Sunday 26 July we will allow a small amount of pay & play court hire - where non-members can pay a fee to book courts that members haven't booked. Getting new faces to come through our gates and playing tennis is good for the sport. And we are optimistic this might lead to players joining the club as members. This initiative is controlled via the new LTA Rally app and website, which links to the ClubSpark court booking system. Members can book courts a full week in advance and get the priority on court time. Casual hirers can only book at comparatively short notice - they get three days.
We are monitoring closely the demand, take-up and impacts which pay & play might involve. This has the potential to add to club finances but we must ensure this doesn't cause difficulties.
As a first step, we are releasing courts 4 and 7 (MUGA) on Sundays, historically a quiet day for the club, from 12.00 until 19.00 when the main gates will be open. Pay & play participants will not have access to the clubhouse bar, hut or pavilion.
Old Wilsonians Lawn Tennis Club