Prioritise Competition play over Coaching at Donvale Tennis Club

Prioritise Competition play over Coaching at Donvale Tennis Club

18 August 2022
Signatures: 12Next goal: 25
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Why this petition matters

Started by Andre Ferdinands

Donvale Tennis club is a thriving tennis club with hundreds of members, a great coaching academy, numerous social and a significant number of competition events held on a weekly basis. 

The problem though, is that the Donvale Tennis Club has limited day-time courts and even more limited acceptable night-time courts to serve the growing and combined needs of Competition tennis, Social tennis and Coaching. 

Due to these limitations, the club is forced to prioritise the courts across the three different needs. Today, it is evident that Coaching is prioritised 1st, then Competition 2nd and Social 3rd. 

What this means, is that Donvale is gaining a reputation amongst the tennis competition community (WDTA, Eastern Region and Blackburn & District Night Tennis) as a joke in regards to having decent courts and decent lighting on offer for competition play. 

This is because the Club prioritises the better courts and the better lighting to Coaching, leaving the lower quality courts and lower quality lighting (e.g. Courts 9 and 10) for Competition.

This was evident only recently when the Willison Park Clovers refused to pay for their night tennis session on Tuesday 9th August when one of their players tripped on the court 9 surface repair and injured their ankle. The team pointed out the dangerous repair and sub-standard lighting on court 9 as the reason they were not paying.

As an example :  because Coaching is prioritised over Competition play, courts 7&8 (the best courts and best lighting in the club) are not available for Tuesday night competition and also not available for Thursday afternoon competition. The first reason being the coaching on courts 7&8 finishes 30 minutes after Tuesday night competition play is meant to start and the second reason being that Metro Masters competition play which starts at 1pm, cannot guarantee they will be finished on courts 7&8 by 4pm when coaching on these courts commences.  

What this means, is that the best courts and best lights in the club go unused for competition play on a Thursday afternoon and most of Tuesday night… due to the priority given to coaching. There will be other examples also on other days where competition play is compromised to allow for the better courts and better lighting for coaching.

Remember to…

  • there are far more members playing competition than there are coaches.
  • the membership fees from competition members is greater than the revenue the club receives from coaching.
  • also… the members being asked to play on the lower quality lighted courts are older and have less effective eyes than those being coached, who are predominantly kids.
  • Also... those being coached on the better lit courts do not have to avoid 100km/hr passing shots aimed at them at net or 150+km/hr  serves.

This petition is simple. It is to show the Donvale Tennis Club committee that its members do not support the current court allocation priority and instead, we petition for the court priority to be changed so that Competition Play be prioritised first…, and Coaching second.

We petition, that …

  1. competition play has the highest priority in regards to court allocation
  2. the better courts (courts 7&8) are not to be used for coaching so that they can always be used (or available) for competition play
  3. courts 9&10 lights are replaced (they are not at competition standard level)
  4. court 9 be repaired to remove the dangerous lip (there’s a court case waiting to happen here)
  5. coaching be moved to courts 1&2, 3&4, 5&6 and only extends to courts 9&10 if 9&10 are not required for competition play
  6. that courts 3&4 and 9&10 are not used for school bookings. Instead, courts 1&2 and 5&6 are used for this purpose

This petition is made in the spirit of improving the club and attracting/keeping competition players… while not compromising the effectiveness and livelihood of the coaching academy.

Thank you.

Andre Ferdinands.

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Signatures: 12Next goal: 25
Support now