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SAPCA update: Latest news from SAPCA

A new code for tennis

Published in Sports Management Nov Dec 2017 issue 134
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
The code helps operators prolong court life / © shutterstock/FamVeld
The code helps operators prolong court life/ © shutterstock/FamVeld

The new SAPCA Code of Practice for the Construction and Maintenance of Tennis Courts was launched at the Association’s annual Technical Meeting in October. The code has been created in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and is a valuable guide for anyone looking to build or renovate their tennis court facilities.

The code outlines the latest standards and includes guidance on the choice of surfaces and specifications. There is advice on court maintenance, to help clubs and other operators prolong the life of facilities.

According to Mark Fisher, LTA’s head of facility development, the code has, over the years, played a key role in raising standards in tennis court construction.

“As part of efforts to improve the standard of courts, particularly at grassroots level, the LTA continues to work closely with SAPCA to develop the code of practice, drawing on the expertise of contractors and consultants.

“The code sets the minimum standards for courts and what makes it great is that anyone can access it, to make sure that their project meets the requirements.”

SAPCA’s Tennis chairman, Tim Freeman, added: “Since its original publication, the code of practice has made a significant contribution in raising the standards of facilities across the UK, helping to create well-designed, sustainable tennis courts, particularly at the grassroots of the game.”

Fisher says the easiest way to ensure a court is built according to LTA standards is to use SAPCA members for projects.

“At the LTA, we see SAPCA members as a list of trusted companies that we recommend, due to their commitment to the code of practice,” he says.

“When people are looking to build a court and place an order with a SAPCA member, they know they are going to get a good service, the courts will be built to a specification that will ensure a sustainable life cycle, and in turn makes the best investment to help get more people on court and playing tennis.”

Export strategies

The recent FSB trade fair in Cologne, Germany was attended by a number of SAPCA members, and acted as a timely reminder of how improving export opportunities for members remains one of SAPCA’s important areas of work.

In 2015, SAPCA launched an Export Group to guide those looking to sell their products and expand their services into new markets.

Working closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT), SAPCA advises members on doing business abroad. Services include identifying opportunities outside the UK and guiding members through the steps needed to secure projects.

SAPCA’s partnership with DIT also means that members are set to benefit from the department’s intention to engage more with suppliers.

“DIT is in the process of devising a new supply-side strategy, which will see it develop stronger links with suppliers,” says SAPCA chief executive Chris Trickey, a member of DIT’s Sector Advisory Group for the Sports Economy.

The DIT’s sports economy team currently focuses on two areas of the sports market: major sporting events and football.

SAPCA is the UK trade association for the sports facility construction industry and represents businesses across the sports, physical activity, recreation and play sectors. Sports Management is the official magazine of SAPCA.

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