Let us introduce you to Jacob & Red Clay Tennis
We were lucky enough to have some fine weather and shoot our summer campaign on Red Clay Tennis' new court.
We asked Jacob a few questions about the creation and inspiration behind bringing a European experience closer to home.
How would you summaries your court?
We are a small team of passionate coaches in Wairarapa working to build tennis. We work with local clubs and schools to deliver our grassroots programmes and have some exciting young players in our development programmes that travel in from around the lower north island to our European clay courts.
What inspired you to create a clay court in New Zealand?
I wanted to do something that would make a significant impact on tennis in New Zealand and after speaking with Tennis New Zealand coach, Matt Alexander, he suggested I consider clay and that's where it all started.
We know it was a community build, could you please go further into that. How did you manage to make that happen? / what went into creating the court?
The courts are completely self-funded. I was lucky to be introduced to a fantastic Italian clay court expert, Max Saggia, early on and he advised me on all the requirements. Locally, I had great contractors in Tim Linton and Valley Ag doing all the earthworks required to meet the brief. When it came to building the courts it was a huge effort with roughly 8-10 people on site each helping out for five 10 hour days to get the clay surface down. We were fortunate to have all the coaches, local builders, Country and Coast, and players, parents and tennis friends helping over the five days.
What do you have planned for the future of the court and yourself?
We are already getting very busy with a club programme running during the week and ambitious junior players training over each weekend. This summer, we are hosting Kiwi Clay Court tournament with Tennis NZ and we have many of the top academies sending players and coaches for training camps here. At the moment we are looking for partners who are interested in working together so we can do more for the players.
Find out more about Red Clay on their website - https://clubspark.kiwi/redclaytennis