With the Rio Olympics are just around the corner, we think it’s the perfect time to reflect on the impact of our home Games in 2012.
One club that was set up during London 2012 was Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club in Staffordshire. Today, the much-loved community club has grown – with over 200 people taking part every week.
Hear what they say about everyone getting involved in sport and looking forward to being part of I Am Team GB:
How important has the Olympic legacy been for your club?
The London 2012 Olympics inspired young people to take part in sport whatever their ability. There was a massive buzz four years ago and community sports clubs around the country [can now] take the lead and ensure young people continue playing sport. Through providing enjoyable and positive experiences it will hopefully leave them wanting to come back for more!
How has your club grown since?
Our first tennis session was during the London 2012 Olympics. We had over 50 local juniors and adults playing tennis. Four years on, we provide tennis at leisure centres and parks for over 200 people every week.
Many youngsters who started during 2012 are now playing for men’s teams at Cheslyn Hay. The project four years ago changed the tennis landscape in the area from somewhere with no tennis opportunities, to now creating a range of accessible, affordable and quality tennis experiences for all ages and abilities.
“Grassroots sport brings communities together. It provides a start for young people to take part, then to be part of their life, whatever their ability.”
How many volunteers help at your club?
We have got an army of 15 volunteers at Cheslyn Hay. From volunteer coaches, young leaders, team captains and committee members. Without this dedicated group of people, who willingly give their time to enable others to play the sport they love, the club wouldn’t exist.
Who has benefitted from joining the club?
We have juniors who started playing during the London Olympics who are now taking an active role as Tennis Leaders, by assisting coaches and organising competitions for young people. They have developed a range of communication and organisation skills and are compassionate to young people’s needs. It is very satisfying as a club to see these young people developing into well-rounded young people, who are role models in their community.
What made you want to get involved in I Am Team GB?
We want to use the excitement of the performances at the Rio 2016 Olympics to inspire the next generation of young people. It is a great opportunity to showcase our sport and to open our doors to welcome new members and supporters.
How do you think your club will benefit from the nation’s biggest sports day?
I Am Team GB will allow us to showcase tennis as a fun, affordable and exciting sport. We hope the event will provide a great introduction to tennis for all ages and abilities. Hopefully some people will like to continue after the event through the range of sessions we provide in the area.
Find out about Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club’s Open Day for I Am Team GB.