Home >Metsä Tissue case study: Leverstock Green Lawn Tennis Club
Metsä Tissue case study: Leverstock Green Lawn Tennis Club
09 July 2015
Leverstock Green Lawn Tennis Club recently celebrated its 50th birthday, and as Wimbledon 2015 began, was proud to feature in a recent BBC article about its success at attracting girls of all ages into coaching.
The Tennis Club is "coming of age" as its membership expands and the club facilities evolve.
The club was founded back in 1961 by Mr Herbert Secretan, the club's first Life President, who donated the land for the club in memory of his daughter Fleur, who had been a keen tennis player. He also donated a large sum of money for the development of the club and many hours and huge amounts of energy in the following years. The club’s major problem in those early years was finding enough members to volunteer to mow the three grass courts!
More than fifty years on, the club boasts 12 courts in total, on a mix of acrylic, all weather and clay court surfaces. In addition there are kitchen and changing room facilities and a subsidised licensed bar supporting a comprehensive social calendar. Today, the membership ranges from 8-80 years of age – and the hygiene and health of its members is of paramount importance. Historically, fabric towels were used and laundered by committee members daily. As the facilities were upgraded, and usage increased, an alternative solution was clearly required. The club looked at a range of hand washing and drying options.
"Hot air dryers were not an attractive option – hygiene statistics showed us quite clearly that bacteria are not removed efficiently from hands using hot air dryers. With children sharing racquets and balls, germs can easily spread in a club environment," said Graham Fish, head coach. "In addition, the toilets are next to the changing facilities. The last thing members need is to walk into an environment where warm, bacteria laden air is being blown around the changing room. We are promoting exercise, healthy living and making the most of an outdoor environment – to a family membership – so it was important for us to move to a product that supported this ethos."
As part of the Tennis Club's 50th celebrations, the social committee ran a family session, and during the activities, they used a germ powder product to show how quickly germs are spread.
Graham says: "It was key to make the younger members aware of the importance of using the new products we had invested in. Metsä Tissue showed us how the powder works, so we thought it would be a fun way to demonstrate what we meant."
The powder is visible under ultraviolet light and can be used to show how far germs will spread if hands are not washed and dried properly. The club placed powder on one tennis racquet at the beginning of the day, and then the family fun got underway. It included lots of matches, some fun exercises, a barbecue and lots of interaction. Then, at the end of the day, the coaches sent the children on a "germ hunt".
They used 2 ultraviolet torches to show how far the powder had spread. The children were amazed to see it on many racquets, balls, nets, doors, tables, glasses, drink bottles; even windows had the powder on. Graham sai: "We were re-assured to find some powder on the sinks and on the hand towels in the Katrin bins, but the exercise served to make the point – that germs need washing and wiping off hands on a regular basis. Our younger members (and probably some of our older members too...) are much more germ aware now than they were before."
Katrin hand towels are used in the members changing rooms and wiping solutions are also used in the kitchen and behind the club bar.
Further significant investment has been made in all areas of the club and it is a vibrant part of the Leverstock Green Community. "Today, the members take the new washroom facilities for granted – it's a quality solution that people expect when they pay a membership fee to belong to a club, and Katrin has really lived up to this expectation for us," concludes Graham.