Tennis Australia has recently undertaken a “Tennis Participation Strategy Review” which found that tennis is one of the most participated and engaged sports in Australia, and that most tennis participants are adults who play primarily for social reasons. The review highlighted challenges in retaining players between the ages of 20-50 years old. Key themes in players stepping away from tennis were around the requirement for regular commitment, cost and inability to find appropriately matched opponents.

In response to the research, Tennis Australia is developing a web-based application that will create an on-going social tennis program for participants. ‘Match Centre’ will offer participants the opportunity to self-grade and self-manage their social play. The program works as a ladder-style in which participants will progress up the ladder when they win matches and down the ladder when they lose matches, resulting in participants playing against others with similar abilities. To address key barriers to play, the other key aspect of the application is the self-manage function, which allows participants the flexibility to organise match times and locations of play that are most convenient to them.

Tennis NT has launched a program in the NT called RALLY which is aimed at removing key participation barriers identified in Tennis Australia’s research. The program will be a platform for flexible, social, inclusive and non-intimating match play.