We bring the ancient game of Real Tennis to the modern setting of the Millennium Court in Hendon. We are independent of the University with members from all over London aged from 11 to over 80 years, as well as students.
COVID-19 has set back our ambitious plans to broaden community participation in Real Tennis. We now need to fill the financial hole and invest in our club.
Impact of COVID-19 on our Club
During the lockdowns play on our court has been severely restricted and forbidden for much of the time, leading to:
- Reduced court and professionals' fees
- Falling membership
- Minimal opportunity to recruit new members
While our two full time professionals have been able to claim government income support, our reserves are falling. Despite help from our landlords, the pandemic has significantly impacted our club’s income.
We depend on a full membership with high court utilisation to fund the upkeep and the professionals who run it.
The Projects you are funding
Success in this campaign will return us to a firm financial footing and enable us to invest in:
- Attracting new members of all ages and abilities, potentially including wheelchair users
- Youth Programmes - Encouraging greater schools and student participation
- Updating our club room and surrounding communal areas
Attracting new members
We need more members for the club to survive and thrive. More members will secure our future.
We need to offer incentives and subsidies to attract more members. Through new, generous incentives we are asking our members to introduce their friends, family and contacts.
Real Tennis is a difficult game and we know from experience the best way to attract new members is to let them have a go.
Our subsidised introductory ‘taster’ packages include a chat with the professionals about the history and rules and then having a go on court. After a few sessions most players develop a life-long passion for the game.
Wheelchair games in many sports are well established. We are researching how to make this happen in Real Tennis and look forward to pioneering this at MURTC – a World first.
Student Captain, Jack Carter, in action!
We are passionate about bringing young people into our sport.
Schools: Located in the London Borough of Barnet, we are encouraging more local schools to join our established schools coaching sessions, offering free court time and professional coaching, and to expand this into a series of holiday courses.
Youngsters also need junior racquets and ‘soft’ balls to enjoy the game; we need to buy more of this equipment to support the juniors.
Students: Being located at the heart of Middlesex University’s campus, we have a focus on student involvement. The Club subsidises their games and coaching. With more funding we will attract more students and support the University Team to train and start touring again once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
Challenge Cup - a festival of student Real Tennis held at Middlesex University: The third stream of our youth programme is to promote Real Tennis to London’s other higher education institutions. We will offer free introductory coaching and subsidised regular sessions. Our goal is to launch an inaugural London Universities Challenge Cup.
Updating our Clubroom and communal areas
We need to upgrade our Club Room and surrounding areas to modern standards and style to make it more welcoming for our members, guests and visitors. Our plans include:
- Giving the room a café feel, updating the lighting, furniture and drinks cabinet to encourage socialising before and after playing
- Re-decorating and upgrading the viewing area along the side of the court so that it is more suitable for watching matches
- Minor alterations to make it wheelchair friendly
- New electronic display scoreboard so that games can be followed from the Club Room as well as from the galleries
- New honours boards and action photos on the walls to showcase our members’ and teams’ achievements
Our club members will do the painting and decorating for free!
A visualisation of our revamped Club Room:
Our Campaign Target
We are aiming to raise £20,000. Expenditure on our 3 initiatives is broken down as follows:
How you can help
Please donate generously to our campaign. To encourage donations, we have secured a variety of attractive rewards which you will see on the side of this page.
We are reaching out to all our members, members' friends and relatives, and to local people and businesses for donations and help with rewards. We are seeking match-funding from Sport England to help us reach the target of £20,000.
Please be as generous as you can and recruit your sports-loving friends, relatives and contacts to help us. We need as many individual donors and donations as possible to reach this ambitious target.
Thank you in advance for your kind and generous support!
In addition to the listed rewards, found on the right hand side of this page, everybody donating £5 or more will be entered in a draw for one of 10 invitations to an exhibition match, including a drink and finger food and the names of all donors will be recorded on one of three donor boards (unless you opt for anonymity).
Check back regularly as we add new rewards as the campaign progresses.
Alcohol rewards for over 18s only.
The Game of Real Tennis
Real Tennis is captivating and satisfying for young and old alike. It is a game of experience, tactics and thinking rapidly on your feet. The game is a brilliant way to maintain fitness, flexibility and mental alertness.
Before lawn tennis evolved in the mid-1800s, when sports equipment manufacturers managed to vulcanise rubber to make hollow tennis balls, there was only this game - Tennis: the world’s oldest racquet game. A player with experience of racquet sports will find this original tennis game absolutely fascinating with its variety of shots and tactics.
An original court:
The game was originally played in the cloisters of monasteries, a courtyard with sloping roofs and surrounding walls – and this space is replicated in modern Real Tennis courts. Real Tennis is, we believe, the only amateur sport where every player receives a world ranking and a handicap! The handicapping system is effective and brilliant – it allows anyone to play any other player.
Our modern court:
The modern court is about the size of a lawn tennis court but is played on an indoor court, like a very large squash court with the ball played off the floor, the walls and the roof, or penthouse as we call it.