Zweeloo Tennis Club Embraces Padel: A Game-Changer for Membership Growth

For tennis-loving Zweeloo, there was no way to avoid it: padel, which is a mix of tennis and squash. In recent weeks, tennis club LTC Zweeloo has been finalizing plans for the construction of two padel courts at the current tennis complex of ‘t Alterbarg.

After the unanimous approval by the members, virtually nothing seems to stand in the way of realization. The permits have been skinned, quotes have been requested and the financing – 200,000 euros – has been largely completed.

It is expected that construction of the courts will start this autumn, which should give the club a significant boost, according to the club board. A working group, consisting of Patrick Bobbe, Ruud de Kok and Johan Recontent, must further supervise the process in the coming months.

‘We have been woken up’

Explaining the plans, club chairman Bobbe says that the number of members has fallen considerably in recent years, from 160 to 72 members. “That was a reason to think carefully about how that trend could be stopped. We have really woken up, especially after the corona period. You are burying your head in the sand if you think you can make it with tennis alone.”

Last year, LTC Zweeloo looked at pickleball, a combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis. “We couldn’t get a hold of this, especially among the younger members. The secret recipe turned out to be padel, which has already been established here and there in the region. We see a big boost at clubs in the area.”

Bobbe continues: “A good example is Balkbrug, where we have been. The local tennis club was on the verge of death, but has come alive again since padel. The trend we also saw there was that more and more children were on the track. That of course appeals to us in particular, because we currently only have two youth members.”

Padel attracts new members

Bobbe, De Kok and Recontent see the benefits for the tennis club from Zweeloo. “Of course it also attracts new members, but people who no longer want to play tennis can also play padel and therefore remain members of our club. The future of the association looks a lot better in this case.”

In addition to the opportunity to recruit new – and often younger – members, it offers an additional advantage for the tennis club, according to the three.

“At certain times, the courts can also be rented to non-members. This generates additional income and can also lead to these people eventually becoming members, but we also want to try to attract former members to us again through an attractive subscription.”

2024-03-27 09:44:29
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