29 Dec Acing it in 2018!
This year was a great one for TwistFizz, with success measured in a number of ways, but the most important result was seeing more kids playing tennis. The year began with the Tennis For Kids programme, and we ran seven courses between April and July at both Kidbrooke Green and Eltham Park South. Tennis For Kids is a taster course designed by the LTA for children between the ages of 4 and 10. The course costs £25 and each child receives six high quality coaching lessons delivered by an LTA-qualified coach, their very own tennis racket, personalised t-shirt and balls!
We continue to take tennis into the community, making it accessible to a wide range of young people. It was wonderful to see more kids enjoying the game, and during the summer term more than 100 children were playing tennis at the park each week.
Other highlights of 2018 included forging community partnerships, and building relationships with schools, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and CACT. Even better, we were awarded grant funding, which meant more opportunities for young people and families to play, and we delivered more than 40 hours of free tennis.
As a quick summary, this is what we achieved in 2018:
- We taught over 100 children on a weekly basis
- 80 children played in Tennis For Kids
- The adult programme doubled in size
- We launched development strand for those showing a natural aptitude and love for the game
- 80 children enjoyed our sessions with many continuing to play in our community mini tennis programme.
Tennis in Schools
TwistFizz built links this year with local primary schools, delivering a combination of curriculum and after-school sessions, along with hosting primary competitions. Gordon Primary, St Mary’s, Alderwood and Woodhill Primary are some of the schools that we’re proud to be working with.
We also really appreciate the help from parents, leaders and volunteers – we couldn’t do it without them. TwistFizz would not be able to deliver the same level of coaching and support without the assistance we get from leaders and parents. Our young tennis leaders help the coaches keep the children engaged and learning during lessons, and our parent volunteers help with events, give advice and feedback and make sure we comply to the highest of standards.
Funding and pound-a-pop sessions
Broadening the reach of tennis is one of our aims and applying for grants ensures we can run a combination of free and low-cost tennis activity. This year we were selected as a CO-OP community project and utilised the funding to run free family sessions and pound-a-pop drop-in classes for young people aged 10 and over. These pound-a-pop sessions do exactly what it says on the tin – a session costs a quid!
Programmes for everyone
During the summer we ran summer camps at Eltham Park South and when kids couldn’t come to us, we took tennis to them. This included delivering free tennis to young people living in Charlton Triangle homes and a Families Plus project managed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. In September we became a partner of Charlton Athletic in the Community and now deliver free weekly tennis to the young people of Eltham North.
We want more adults to play too. The number of adults on the programme is growing and we’re keen to offer more opportunities. This year we ran a women’s only session on a Tuesday, Tennis Xpress for beginners and Serve, Rally, Score for improvers.
This year we also launched our development sessions for children showing natural aptitude and enthusiasm to do well. These children play twice per week and are preparing to represent Eltham Park South in competitions locally and across the county.
Lyndall Newton-Early, the head coach and founder, developed her skills too, embarking on her Master Coach qualification. She was one of only 12 candidates selected from across the country, and is one of a few women that will have achieved this qualification, which is the most senior tennis coach qualification offered. Lyndall also represents women and girls across Kent as the She Rallies Ambassador.
TwistFizz is still a young start-up social enterprise – we’ve only been going for 18 months – and we were really happy to be selected to take part in the Royal Bank of Scotland Start-Up Programme. We were also recently awarded a year’s business support by CAN Investment.
Everyone at TwistFizz is really looking forward to 2019. We’re in great shape, thanks to the relationships we’re building and the support we are receiving. But the most important thing to us is seeing more kids, adults, families – anyone – playing and enjoying tennis.
Have a wonderful festive season, and we hope to see you on the court in the New Year.