Ely 10is Academy hopes to serve-up a bright future for tennis in the city and beyond in 2017
- Credit: Archant
It has been just over nine months since Sebastien Scaux created 10is Academy in Ely and he has chosen the festive season to take a look back over the success of 2016 and to unveil plans for the next eight years.
Sebastien said: “As we approach the end of 2016 it feels like a natural point to share my views on the current state of tennis, but also, far more interestingly, our new high level plan to grow the game in Ely and its surroundings.
“Over the course of this very short time as 10is Academy director I have tried to speak to (and more importantly listen to) as many people as possible. To those of you I have not spoken to yet – I will get to you soon! This has been a fascinating and humbling experience.
“Everyone I have engaged with has been very open and honest about the state of tennis in Ely – the challenges and the opportunities. Critically, you have said you want to see tennis grow and thrive, have your children enjoy the sport & stay fit and that you will support 10is Academy.
“10is Academy faces many challenges – financial sustainability being a pressing one, but I feel very optimistic about the future of our sport in this town. We have a lot of potential to work with because tennis in Ely is in many ways a sleeping giant. So, let’s work together to awake the giant. Starting with a clear plan…”
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Sebastien says he would welcome constructive criticism adding: “I do not for one minute pretend it is a perfect plan and it will not be to everyone’s taste, but the point to make is that it is clear and understandable - with very achievable goals.”
He said some of the most immediate steps needed include improving relationships as 10is “exists to serve the wider Ely tennis community - not the other way round”.
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He wants to collaborate with clubs and schools to grow the game across the Fens.
Sebastien believes if tennis is to have a vibrant sustainable future it needs to transform.
Part of that will include organising opportunities for players to compete outside the club.
A key mandate for 10is is to produce county to national calibre players and the academy will be looking very carefully at its players’ pathway – with a special focus on junior tennis.
A high-performance task force is being set up to make recommendations on how this can be achieved.
The academy is getting its junior squads up and running. The focus will be on one or two training camps a year and strategic exposure to external competition.
Financial sustainability is a pressing short and medium term concern. A cash reserve is essential to ensure continuity in providing low cost coaching.
So the aim is to increase membership - there are currently 80 players but only 60 are full year members and incentives will be introduced to help this.
Sebastien also hopes new initiatives like: Touchtennis - a mini tennis game - could help with this.
He said: “We might not achieve all we set out to do in the plan – we operate in a very fluid environment. However, even if we only achieve 50 per cent of the plan, then tennis will find itself in a much more positive space.
“This is not about one person transforming tennis. This is about all of us getting behind the sport and working towards growing the game we all love.
What do you think? Do you have some ideas or suggestions about how we can improve and grow the sport in Ely? If so, please feel free to contact me via: email@example.com