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Making a Racket with Tennis Programming


Tennis has been enjoyed across the world since 1870. And for over 60 years, tennis has remained a core component of the JCC Denver in Denver, Colorado.

Their James M. Swiggart JCC Tennis Center is an active and friendly club with four indoor courts. They offer programming for people of all ability levels and work to create a schedule that allows for the maximum number of participants.

Creating a successful program that has lasted over six decades requires paying attention to the little details.

“It’s important to know your clientele and make sure you create a schedule that will allow the largest part of your membership to participate,” said Marshall Carpenter, the director of tennis at the James M. Swiggart JCC Tennis Center.

The tennis center offers both social and competitive options for all adult National Tennis Rating Profile levels. The adult programming spans seven days per week, including morning and evening programs.

“Our junior programming consists of after-school classes, summer camps and summer competitive teams, along with match play opportunities throughout the year,” said Carpenter. “We strongly believe in using the red, orange, green and yellow ball pathway the United States Tennis Association subscribes.”

According to Carpenter, having a successful tennis program at your facility can help improve overall participation. “Special programs usually allow more members to be on court than a standard court reservation, so it boosts participation numbers,” he explained. “Additionally, our members have access to and utilize the variety of programming we offer at the JCC Denver from fitness classes to arts and culture events to family events, and many others.”

While the tennis programming boosts member participation, it also creates new challenges.

According to Carpenter, the Tennis Center’s biggest challenge is trying to set up a successful program schedule. “We are constantly evaluating what we offer to make sure it is viable and profitable,” he explained. “You cannot be afraid to try new programs and cancel ones that aren’t working. I’ve always believed you cannot be complacent with your programming and you need to constantly work to keep offering classes that will draw the largest percentage of members to participate.”

One way to ensure your facility is drawing in members is through proper marketing. The JCC Denver keeps their members up to date by communicating with them through a variety of channels, including monthly newsletters, email blasts, social media posts and print media opportunities. They often call members to make them aware of events and encourage them to register, as well.

Overall, if your community rec center is looking for a program that can boost member engagement and is great for all ages, tennis can cause the right amount to racket.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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