The Fundraising/Sponsorship Imperatives
As we all know, tennis is an amazing sport. At its best, it’s a gladiatorial contest of spine-tingling power and subtle control watched by thousands of animated spectators in state-of-the-art stadiums. For the budding Wimbledon Champion, it is all about fun and learning in a safe, inspiring environment whatever their motivation or ability and from any community or background. At any age and for a whole lifetime, tennis provides physical, social and mental rewards both on and off the court.
Tennis is for everyone – anyone can pick up a racket and anyone can be part of the tennis family. Not surprisingly therefore, tennis was one of the first sports to emerge from the original Covid lockdown and clubs across Bucks have saw a huge uptake in membership at a time of Governmental acknowledgement of the game’s safe, fun, cardio demanding and mentally calming benefits to participants. Tennis brings together families, different generations and the country as a whole.
It can be at the heart of our community and a source of social enjoyment as well as a rewarding physical challenge for those who play it.
So where do we fit in?
As Buckinghamshire Lawn Tennis Association (“Bucks Tennis”), we are the local representative body of the LTA , largely run by a Committee of enthusiastic Volunteers, operating on a not-for-profit basis – to administer, facilitate and deliver national objectives and initiatives to ‘open tennis up’ to follow the vision of growing the game by making it relevant, welcoming and enjoyable.
Our Mission statement is to support the County’s clubs, administrations, officials and Coaches to get ‘more people playing tennis more often’; increasing and improving Junior and Adult competitions for all (including Inter-County matches, County Championships and club competitions) and to continually develop the quality of the County Performance Junior Programmes.
What do we do?
Follow the LTA’s lead in governance and development of tennis in Bucks from grassroots participation through to the brink of the professional game.
This involves support, investment, coordination and delivery of a myriad of different aspects of local tennis from our youngest club infants through junior, adult and senior performance to our County Veterans, Disability and Deaf programmes and teams overlaid of course by Safeguarding and Governance. We offer over 150 juniors the opportunity to grow their life skills through an inspiring County training programme including Inter-County Cup events, linked to the County’s welcoming network of Clubs, professionally motivated coaches and dedicated volunteer run Committees.
Over 60 Clubs enter teams for all ages from under 8 to over 60 in Bucks Tennis leagues with tournaments and festivals supplementing these opportunities. The launch of a new Strategic Plan and this ‘fresh’ Website alongside other social media platforms places Bucks Tennis at the forefront of on-line attention.
As well as providing financial assistance and running development courses for our players and coaches we also make available Grants and Loans to clubs to assist with their capital projects. We are the reference point for communication and policy for our clubs and their Committees on all tennis related matters via website, emails, bi-annual Club Forums and telephone through our Admin Office based at our County Indoor Centre at Cressex, High Wycombe. Owned by Bucks Tennis, this is managed and operated under a lease to a nationally recognised tennis facilities company - Virtus Leisure Management Ltd.
However, the best graphic indication of what we provide and indeed achieve as a County is best detailed in the attached ‘Bucks Tennis Achievements 2021' review presentation recently delivered at our AGM. There is an impressive array of nationally recognised achievements from our much talented Juniors; disabled (VI); upcoming Mens seniors and Veterans and Ladies senior teams (who have been National Champions twice in recent years) to name just a few. Of course this is just a snapshot of activity in a necessarily subdued year for obvious reasons – hence we have also incorporated a few noteworthy milestones achieved by members of the Bucks Tennis family over recent years.
Why do we need funding / Sponsors?
Year-on-year cutbacks from central LTA subsidies we receive, have coincided with increasing expenditure for Bucks Tennis activities as our financial commitments have grown – the result of our implementation of development strategies and programmes delivering our goals and ambitions as a highly successful and aspiring County on the national stage.
Volunteers, coaches, officials, clubs and venues all play an essential role in the future of our sport; without them, tennis can’t exist. At Bucks Tennis we are committed to providing our people and places to play with the right investment and support alongside the LTA to ensure that work is acknowledged and celebrated to preserve the game for the next generation to enjoy.
Inevitably for Bucks Tennis to maintain its crucial role in growing our game, the shortfall in our annual income to expenditure has to be bridged – in the past this has been from the legitimate sale of Wimbledon tickets to Sponsors. This hitherto practice has now been completely overhauled by the LTA and strict new protocols introduced in 2020/21 that finds us now seeking fresh avenues and connections for Fundraising and Sponsorship opportunities that will hopefully enable us to maintain the status quo.
We are now seeking to engage Sponsors and investors in all or any aspects of our operations as we develop a number of ideas and potential packages that might attract crucial new streams of funding.
What can we offer?
Aside from the obvious opportunity to join the Bucks Tennis family with all its multi-faceted diversity and competition, a snapshot is:
· We have the critical mass of 65 clubs and its membership, including some 16,000 registered British Tennis Members; as well as active disabled players playing and competing nationally from Bucks venues.
· We have a healthy social media presence and a superb 4-court indoor facility available.
· We can offer branding opportunities, prize presentation and competition associations and provide Sponsors with access to our Forums, club communications and Handbook.
· There are mentoring opportunities to engage with aspiring junior or senior players and a wealth of opportunity to engage and invest in our best talent at every stage of their tennis journeys through to the perimeter of the professional game.
· We have school association programmes and competitions which may be of interest and we run team building workshops as well as numerous coaching courses – all with the capability of Sponsor engagement.
· We can offer Sponsors the opportunity for ‘up front’ attendance or even participation in our new annual ‘Battle of Bucks’’ tennis extravaganza weekend where our best Junior, Mens’ and Ladies players and Vets will be showcased.
· We should also still be able to offer Sponsors an opportunity to purchase Wimbledon tickets at face value - subject to LTA overview and a signed engagement contract.
So what’s next?
If you are interested or like what you read - please get in touch! For all the reasons we have outlined, we would be delighted to hear from anyone willing to commence a discussion around an investment in Bucks Tennis – from a personal ‘patron’ perhaps wishing to give something back to the game they love, right through to a commercial business keen to take advantage of the opportunities our game can provide.
No amount is too small and no commitment is too short – we would just like to speak to you so please contact me or any of the Bucks Tennis team of Volunteers that can be found on our website.
Thank you for reading our Prospectus.
Graham K. Tallyn,
Chairman of Bucks Tennis Fundraising Committee,
Director, Bucks Tennis Ltd,
Contact: email@example.com or 07493 235727