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Tennis club goes from strength-to-strength

A West Lothian tennis club that supported its community throughout the pandemic has gone from strength-to-strength.

Tennis Revolution recently celebrated its third birthday after becoming a thriving business that’s introduced thousands of children to tennis in an accessible and fun way – but when founder Simon Yapp decided to take Tennis Revolution full-time, the first lockdown hit only days later.

Simon originally trained as a tennis coach in 2019 because he couldn’t find reasonable coaching for his young son Ruaridh.

This developed into a desire to create something so that his son and others could get the chance to play together in the local community, without the expense that joining a tennis club normally incurs.

In 2020, Simon was made redundant and so in March he dedicated himself to Tennis Revolution – but covid was devastating. Simon looked at the struggles his own family was facing and turned Tennis Revolution into a safe place for children to mix safely, as well as giving parents a break.

He ran PE classes, as well as tennis, gave out free places to those worrying about finances
and charged minimal prices for those that could pay – and focused on doing his bit for a community under pressure, rather than worrying about profit.

Two years on and the community hasn’t forgotten the time, effort and energy Simon gave when times were at their hardest.

Membership has sharply risen, Tennis Revolution is a staple in schools across West Lothian, and sponsorship from Specsavers pays for branded kits for the kids.

Simon now plans to revive a community club in Bathgate, continuing the Tennis Revolution’s ethos of community-first.

His ambition is to re-establish Bathgate on the competitive tennis circuit and for Tennis Revolution to host national league matches.

Said Simon Yapp: “I’m a father, first and foremost. I saw how the pandemic impacted my own children and I knew that I had skills that could help other families who felt the same.

“During the pandemic, Tennis Revolution became more than a business, for me and the community. It was a place of safety, respite, fun and rejuvenation for all of us.

“The loyalty the community has shown me as restrictions have reduced is the foundation of Tennis Revolution’s subsequent success. Businesses’ have a responsibility to support our local areas. Putting people, no profit, first always pays off.”

Bathgate councilor Harry Cartmill praised everything Simon did to support people in the pandemic.

He said: “Simon has done something incredible in West Lothian. Tennis Revolution has revitalized the courts and the sport in Bathgate – I walk through the park where he trains, and they are so vibrant and full of life now.

“As a tennis fan myself, seeing so many people – young and old – enjoying the game, many for the first time, is inspiring.

“Exercise, and access to it, are vital for good health and wellbeing. For my part, I will do whatever I can to support better maintenance of the courts, so that Simon continues to serve up his unique offering of fun and form to as many of our community as possible.”

Morna Scott of Specsavers added: “I’m excited to be involved in supporting our local tennis club, Tennis Revolution.

“I feel it’s so important for children to engage in sports and outdoor activities, even more so after lockdown. It’s great to collaborate with Simon to provide sporting opportunities for the local community and also to promote the importance of eye health and vision.”

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