The Tennis Industry Association will be running a series of stringing courses this summer to provide training opportunities for new and existing racket stringers.
The courses will be led by Master Pro-Tour stringer Roger Dalton (pictured) and Master Racket Technician Paul Skipp, both of whom have more than 25 years of stringing experience. They will share their expertise across four different categories of courses, ranging from the general introduction to stringing and racket technology for beginners to courses for Pro-Tour stringers. Stringing machines and equipment will be provided by Babolat and Apollo Leisure and courses will be held around the country.
“Having this structured programme is something we really need in this country,” said Dalton, who was head stringer at Wimbledon for seven of his seventeen years there and is now Babolat’s head technician at the National Tennis Centre. “To have coaches, players and parents stringing to a good standard and to gain a record of qualification – they could go on to have a career in stringing if they decided to and work their way up the ladder.”
As well as providing opportunities for testing and certification, the courses will give Lawn Tennis Association coaches further chances to enhance their continuing professional development and to receive LTA Coach License Credits. Courses will either be held over one or two days depending on the level of expertise and there will be a mix of mid-week and weekend opportunities. Dalton and Skipp will be assisted by Master Pro-Tour stringers David Munt and ERSA director Mark Maslowski as well as ERSA UK manager Jamie Pethick.
“If someone is interested in stringing it’s a great opportunity to learn good technique and consistency and it will help improve their play and it is more economical if they don’t have to pay someone else to string their rackets,” explains Dalton. “If you are stringing for yourself you can experiment with different strings and different tensions, try out a variety of configurations and see what works best for your game. Of course you could do that anyway, but it would be quite expensive if you were paying someone to restring the rackets for you.”
While the initial aim is to provide well-run and well-attended courses, the long-term goal is to create a nationwide scheme to bring a greater degree of knowledge to stringers, players and retailers. By increasing sales opportunities for equipment suppliers and raising standards of stringing it is hoped that the Tennis Racket Specialist Scheme (TRS) kite mark could become ‘as recognisable to the tennis buying public as many other household marks in the high street’.
For more information on TRS courses and membership, email Gilly English at firstname.lastname@example.org.