An evaluative study, using the sports development continuum to establish the effectiveness of the junior tennis development programme formed by Tennis Wales and the Lawn Tennis Association
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to establish the effectiveness of the junior tennis programme formed by Tennis Wales and The Lawn Tennis Association. The sports development continuum was used to highlight strengths and weaknesses and to establish what can be done to improve the standard of tennis in Britain. lnformation was gathered from various officials, coaches and players by means of semistructured interviews and by analysing many types of published literature. The results indicated that alack of numbers participating in tennis has created lines of weakness throughout the entire development structure. The base of the continuum isn't wide enough to accommodate appropriate sifting of potential players through to the performance stages. Therefore the continuum is unstable, which causes a breakdown in communication between the performance and participation levels. The initiatives in place are feasible if implemented properly. Mini-tennis and school links are imperative to the survival of British tennis and it is ultimately the responsibility of the coach to ensure these areas are continually monitored and improved. Other initiatives and systems such as the ratings system and coach education have not been properly looked at and have created more bariers for junior tennis once participation rates are improved. These areas will need to be reviewed. It was also concluded that new clubs are needed in more deprived areas to increase participation rates and develop new talent, thus diminishing the middle-class image tennis holds. However, a fundamental change is needed in the forethought of the LTA and Tennis Wales to adrninister these changes.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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