A guide to the LTA
How Cambridgeshire tennis clubs can get the most from its governing body
So you want to grow your membership, offer something new to your members or get some funding for new facilities. But who do you talk to in the LTA? Is it Roehampton, LTA East Region at Hills Road or Cambridgeshire LTA?
First things first. What is the LTA and what is it there for?
The LTA is the governing body for tennis in .Great Britain. Its overall purpose is to grow and sustain the sport by getting more people playing tennis more often:
- Growing the number of registered places to play
- Growing the number of British tennis members
- Increasing the number of regularly competing juniors
- Increasing the number of players in the top 100.
To do this the LTA is committed to investing in the following:
- Places to play at parks, clubs, schools and tennis centres
- People who make tennis happen, including coaches, volunteers and club officials
- Programmes to encourage participation such as Park Tennis
- Promotion to show tennis as a fun activity with health benefits
So how is that delivered to local clubs?
- The Board - the Board of the LTA sets the strategy – agrees the goals, sets the objectives (like the Government). They are based at National Tennis Centre at Roehampton and are supported by a substantial work force.. Most importantly to grass root tennis players the LTA manage the British Tennis Membership, including the rating and ranking of tennis players of all abilities via the LTA website. The website is also the visible face of the infrastructure provided by the LTA, as well as a huge source of information.
- The Council - within the LTA, is a “Council” comprising volunteer representatives from each county (Councillors akin to Backbenchers) and some other tennis stakeholders. Council meet four times a year. Councillors, board members and senior LTA executives sit on a number of sub-committees (think Select Committees in Parliament) which agree and formulate broad tactics and scrutinise LTA Board-level initiatives.
- Regional LTA (5 English regions plus Scotland and Wales) – paid LTA employees who implement tactics via programmes in clubs and other places to play as well as providing support to County LTAs and clubs. For us, the Regional LTA is ‘LTA East Region’ based at the Hills Road Tennis Centre in Cambridge.
- County LTAs- staffed by volunteers (with possible support of a paid administrator) who help to roll out initiatives at the local level. Each County LTA will run a number of sub-committees or working groups who oversee new participation initiatives, junior and senior performance (including coach development), the running of local leagues and the communication to local tennis players and volunteers.
Getting the help you need
We hope the answers to the following questions help you understand how the LTA works and how to get the most out of Cambridgeshire LTA
Q. We need funds to upgrade our courts or to run a new coaching programme to encourage people into our club. Where do we go?
A. There are multiple sources of direct funding available via the LTA. At a National Level the LTA can issue grants and make loans. County LTAs also provide direct local funding. Most LTA funding requires clubs to raise some of the money required. There are also other grant bodies, such as Sport England, that can provide ‘match-funding’ if other funds are in place. If you need funds, the first port of call should be your County LTA. In Cambridgeshire, that means Nick Tait who heads the Participation Committee. We are also lucky to be able to call upon the services of Steve Goswell who’s expertise is the ins and outs of LTA funding as well as other grant making bodies in the county.
Q. We would like to play competitions against other clubs?
A. Contact Vernon Dudley at Cambs LTA. He manages all the senior and veteran leagues across the county. He can advise on how to get started and point you to all the information you need. If you need to know about junior team competitions, Sue Rich is our expert on the annual Aegon competitions between clubs as well as the tournaments for individuals
Q. I would like to help out more at my club. How can I help to run mini-tennis or to organise competitions?
A. There are various ways to get involved. There are Competition Organisers’ courses run at county level. If you are over 13 years old, you can do a Tennis Leaders course and if you fancy starting down the coaching route then your local contact is Sue Rich who heads the Performance Committee of Cambs LTA. Cambridgeshire LTA may even be happy to pay for some of the costs in return for some of your coaching time once qualified!
Q. I have a child who is showing a real talent for tennis. What do I do next?
A. There is a well-structured pathway for talented junior players. From county talent-ID days held several times a year through County squads to Performance Centres where kids can get expert individual and squad coaching. Your best contact is Sue Rich, who knows everything there is to know about junior performance.
Q. I think tennis could be run much better in the UK. How do I get my voice heard at a national level?
A. Your county LTA Councillor is the person for this one. They act as a bridge to the National LTA where they sit on l Council as well as various committees.. The Cambridgeshire LTA Councillor is Mark Sanders. Mark also acts as a direct route to the LTA East Region.
Q. My rating or my ranking seems to be wrong on the LTA website, who do I contact?
A. LTA East Region at Hills Road TennisCentre in Cambridge can check and amend as needed. Phone them on 01223 210111 or email East@LTA.org.uk
Q. We have some news that we would like to share with other across the county. Who do we contact?
Daniel Murton Chairs the Cambridgeshire Marketing & Communications Committee. He this website (www.cambslta.org.uk) and circulates the county e-newsletter. He also has contacts in the local press and can also promote the right stories at a national level.
Q. Who do I contact for more information?
The Contact section contains all the details of the Cambs LTA Committees