Here at ClubSpark we love to hear about tennis clubs that are making a difference. I interviewed Tim Colocott, Club Captain at Formby Lawn Tennis Club, who together with the club members wanted to do something to raise money and say a big thank you to the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bit about Formby Lawn Tennis Club, who are using ClubSpark for the past few years to manage their tennis court bookings and club management. The club was founded in the 1880's and seeped in history, including a special event in 1985 when they were honored with being asked to host an international match between England and Ireland. In March, 2020 they came up with a catchy Rally of Support, this article outlines how an idea came to fruition. Read on to hear how they pulled it off.
Tim, who came up with the idea of Rally of Support and raising money for the NHS?
It was my idea. However, I must stress from the outset that it would have gone nowhere had I not had the overwhelming support from my friend, tennis partner, club match secretary, and computer wizard, Christian Bryan
It was during an early evening around 24th March and I was watching the news. Events were accelerating at a ridiculous rate as the NHS was racing against time to expand all ICU facilities around the country's hospitals to prepare for the forecast of huge casualty rates caused by the virus. The stress on all involved was only too clear.
Rob Dodd, a friend I play tennis with regularly at our club, and front line NHS Operative, sent me an image of a very large piece of medical kit in the back of his car that he had been instructed to deliver from one hospital to another single handed. In the caption he expressed how his workload had become extremely intense and how everyone on the front line was working day and night.
At this point, I concluded that many at our club would probably want to show their gratitude and respect for these incredible people doing all they could to try and protect the general public.
My idea was to deliver a statement with a tennis theme and gained consent from our club chairman and committee.
How did you then promote this within Formby LTC?
TENNIS TALK is our monthly newsletter which is emailed to all members.
Once the message had been circulated, I contacted others via the club's various WhatsApp accounts. Within only a couple of days the response was very strong. I started a specific WhatsApp group and included all those wanting to participate.
It was important to include all ages from our youngest members to our older players.
How did you then go about filming Rally of Support while everyone was in isolation?
I started to distribute the words to all, one by one. I gave guidelines on the filming to be done by smartphone including the fact that each clip could not be longer than 5 seconds.
Each clip was then sent through to both Christian and I; in the caption of each video was the word they were saying, this to assist with editing. Christian then had the mammoth task of knitting all the videos together in the statement order and simulating a tennis rally. Hence the name "Rally of Support".
The final film was completed within just 2 weeks of birth of concept. Christian had also managed to squeeze everything in to just 1 minute.
A statement for Formby Lawn Tennis Club 'The club has several members who are all on the front-line to help fight Covid-19. A culmination of their experiences and the daily news, reflecting their relentless challenges, inspired the club to come up with “Rally of Support”. This was simply a statement of their respect and gratitude for these exceptional people, delivered word by word via 45 members whilst simulating a tennis rally'
You can view their Rally Of Support on their Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/FormbyTennisClub/videos/3261019290615796/
They have also set up their own Just Giving page, where money is being donated to NHS Charities Together. If you wish to donate, Click Here.