Resurrection of Hingham Tennis
In 2013 three local parents were inspired to resurrect their dilapidated local courts. They raised £91,000 and re-invented Higham Tennis!
Jonathan Lindner is an enthusiastic local and Tennis Coach working at Hingham Tennis.
Three local parents were walking past some dilapidated tennis courts one afternoon and lamenting the waste of such potential. What they could not have known is that a few years later, they would be collecting an award for the LTA Tennis Club of the Year at The All England Club, Wimbledon!
Flash back to 2013
In October 2013, Emily, Lindsey and Simon decided to come up with a plan to deliver on their vision to create a vibrant, friendly inclusive club, welcoming and encouraging play, regardless of age, background and ability. They discussed ideas, completed grant applications and worked hard to raise the money needed to revive and renew the previously wasted space.
Through a successful grant application from Sport England (£75,000), support from nine local charities (£11,550), commercial sponsorship (£2,200) and a bit of crowd funding (£2,100) the project to resurrect tennis in Hingham started!
Two and a half years later, Hingham Tennis was born. Two brand new, floodlit tennis courts together with the tennis ‘hut’ were revealed and local people were able to meet and play together. A timetable consisting of a mix of social play and coaching for both young and old began.
It was a privilege to be involved in the launch and it was brilliant to see lots of enthusiastic players enjoying the new facility. For me, the timing for me was perfect. I had just embarked on a career change and had begun training as a tennis coach. I live five minutes down the road in a nearby village so I felt a natural connection with the club.
Inclusive, Not a Club!
Although some new members had previous tennis experience, and some had been part of tennis clubs before, the majority were people who wouldn’t have ordinarily signed up to be part of a ‘club’ for this kind of thing.
The word ‘club’ has always been deliberately missing from the identity of Hingham Tennis and I believe that this has helped its success. A year after opening, membership was above 200 people, ranging in age from 4 to 80.
Hingham Tennis wins LTA “Club” of the year!
The profile of Hingham Tennis was then increased further when we entered the running for the LTA Tennis Club of the Year and after being selected as the winning club for the Eastern Region, members of the committee were asked to present ‘The Hingham Tennis story’ to the LTA in London. We won! Hingham Tennis was featured in local papers, on the local news and on local radio. Personally, I was particularly excited to have one of the Norwich City FC sports presenters come along to one of my cardio tennis sessions to ‘have-a-go’ and to interview myself and members of the group.
Going from strength to strength
Hingham Tennis, at this time (four years after opening), has managed to keep its identity as an inclusive, community based tennis club and it is still thriving. Hopefully, this will be the case for many years to come.
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