Thank you to Caraline for sharing her Tennis-a-thon story.
I organised a Tennis-a-thon at Wickwoods Country Club, Sussex, in July 2021. It was the first time I had supported Dementia UK, but it is a cause close to my heart as my mother lived with the condition for many years before passing in a care home.
Two of the women I play tennis with, Jayne and Susan, are on the regional committee of Dementia UK and were delighted when I suggested we get our friends together to raise some money. We agreed on a fundraising target of £1,000 and the work began.
Our first task was to ask the owners of the club if they would support the event. They were pleased to help and reserved a court for us. Our plan was to play continuously for 12 hours. We then set out to recruit four people to play for an hour (or two) from 8am to 8pm – and prayed for a sunny day.
Promoting the event
Anyone who expressed an interest in taking part in the Tennis-a-thon was added to a WhatsApp group, which became an essential part of our communications. We also made posters and put them up around the club inviting people to take part or to come along and cheer us all on, and the club kindly supported us on social media.
Participants donated via JustGiving, and everyone was kept engaged and updated on how much had been raised via WhatsApp. We also had some business cards printed with the JustGiving link and placed them on the tables at the event. This meant people could take the card as a reminder to donate at a later date.
We ordered t-shirts from Dementia UK and participants were invited to buy one for £5. This helped to raise a little extra money and meant the event was branded with the Dementia UK logo throughout the day.
We had two teams competing called the Wicks and the Woods, and the final result was a genuine 88 games each! At the end of the day, the committee had raised an amazing £2,500 which was more than double the figure we had set out to make.
Caraline’s top tip for organising your Tennis-a-thon
Set up a WhatsApp group so everyone can be kept informed about what is going on. You can also share images and ideas and ask questions in one place.
Organising the event was great fun. I was finally able to put a name to many of the faces I had seen around the club. It gave me the opportunity to make some new friends and play with more people, all whilst raising money for an extremely good cause. I would highly recommend holding a Tennis-a-thon, so sign up today!
Sign up to the Dementia UK Tennis-a-thon and challenge yourself to play tennis for as long as you can on 17th July to raise awareness and vital funds for families facing dementia