Using learning to get better business results - testimony
Tennis Australia is the nation’s governing tennis body – officially recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and the International Tennis Federation.
Tennis Australia recognises to have more elite players at the top of the world game, you need to have more people playing tennis more often for longer. One of the driving forces to getting more people on tennis courts around the country are tennis coaches. Prior to 2006, the focus of tennis coach education was on developing practical on-court coaching skills. However, it was identified coaches were required to build sustainable businesses to attract more people from all parts of the community to play tennis. Additionally with ageing tennis facilities, coaches were required to build their knowledge and skills of facility management. It was no longer enough for coaches to just coach. They had to successfully run, manage and grow tennis clubs and business facilities to meet tougher industry demands.
To these ends, Tennis Australia decided there was a need to provide further professional development in business management specifically tailored for tennis coaches.
The idea was strong. All Tennis Australia needed was a training partner to help make it happen.
In 2006, DeakinCo teamed with Tennis Australia to devise and deliver the Tennis Australia Master Club Professional Course.
The resulting Diploma of Management targeted individuals excited by exploring what was possible and guiding them to an understanding of high quality tennis services and facilities in a community setting.
The seven-month course comprised eight units closely matched to Tennis Australia’s learning and development vision.
Its project-based approach contextualised learning so participants could apply their studies to the challenges of their day-to-day work environments. Aided all the while by DeakinCo, this culminated in the design and execution of a three-year business plan.
The course’s aim was to achieve Tennis Australia’s mission by empowering tennis coaches and administrators to create an engaging environment that nurtured a challenging and enjoyable ‘tennis experience’.
The desired result was for participants to immerse themselves holistically in running and managing their tennis facility to render the sport’s many intrinsic benefits patent.
In short, we wanted them to show, rather than tell.
The course has run every year since 2007. Results have been nothing short of spectacular.
Many participants have reported major wins including:
- regional club membership up by 40 per cent in 18 months
- increased government tender success
- promotion to senior management
- awards for coaching excellence
- global business expansion.
Tennis Australia is elated with progress and DeakinCo is delighted to remain part of such an exciting and worthwhile initiative.