31st May, 2021 — accessibility

Manning Tennis Club restarts the season

Dwayne Augustin has been the club captain at Manning Tennis Club in Perth for about seven years but has played there for many years before that.

Established in 1955, Dwayne loves how the club really makes an effort to be welcoming and accessible to anyone who wants to get involved in tennis.

Manning Tennis Club recently joined the Good Sports program and used COVID to get all their policies and procedures in order.

“Since we had already started, during the lockdown, it was the perfect opportunity to speed up the process. We fast tracked and now we’re at the highest level of accreditation in the Good Sports program,” says Dwayne.

Pickleball during lockdown and restarting the season

Dwayne says Manning Tennis tried to keep all their members having fun. They stayed social and connected while they couldn’t get together to play in person.

“During shut down, we had a couple of online bingo and quiz nights. Pickleball is something we have done before which is a sort of tennis and badminton combo. I suggested members could play in their backyards. I drove around and dropped off bats and balls to members. That way we could keep the hand-eye co-ordination and keep entertained,” Dwayne explained.

“One of our tennis coaches did some tennis drills on Facebook and we shared those around.”

The club had a staged approach to open in line with restrictions, for example opening every second court. Dwayne feels lucky that tennis is a more physically distant sport, and they’ve had a lot of people booking.

“Just keep at it. Be patient as people slowly come back to the sport. Letting people know you are back is main thing.”

Good Sports at Manning Tennis Club

Good Sports to Manning Tennis club means being a community club and inclusive. They pride themselves on being welcoming to all.

“We offer opportunities as much as we can to everyone. We have a wheelchair tennis program. Eventually, we want to expand the adaptive tennis programs to make sure we have opportunities for all players.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit Australia, they already had some policies in place such as smoking management and a liquor licence. Dwayne and the committee cleverly used lockdown as an opportunity to get onto the Good Sports program.

“What’s great about the Good Sports program is that it’s all set up and you’ve got the templates. It’s more or less done for you. It’s so simple,” says Dwayne.

Dwayne explains that there are other benefits to the club from being a part of the program, such as the perception in the community.

“Outside people to the club can see you have plans in place. Even if we’ve always done it, it’s now in writing.”

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