In November 2015, North Park Tennis Club worked with Mind Australia to provide their clients with a great tennis experience. The objectives were to utilise tennis as a basis for exercise and socialising. Mind is a community mental health organisation that supports people who are living with mental ill-health to lead richer and more personally satisfying lives. NPTC devised and funded a 10-week program of group coaching, supplying racquets and additional free court use for extended personal practice for the 6-8 participants. Great fun was had by all with responses such as “That was really fun”, “Is it on again next week?” and “This is something I can do”, received.
Due to the positive outcome of this initiative, NPTC applied to Tennis Victoria’s ACE Grants Program and on being successful was able to establish a specific community inclusion program. Mind was invited to participate in the program again, which started in June so that they could further their tennis experience by having another 10-weeks of coaching and use of free-practice courts for a second round. In addition, the program is now able to offer more opportunity for participants to socialize due to the introduction of a shared weekly lunch and other incentives and prizes.
NPTC would like to thank Kathryn from Mind Australia for continuing to work with us to deliver the program and a further big thank you to the participants for having a go and providing us with feedback to improve the program.