Meet The Staff: Stuart Kay
NAME: Stuart Kay
JOB: Tennis Manager
BACKGROUND: My dad was in the Forces so I travelled around the world when I was young. I went to school in Germany and played all sports – badminton, football and where I first played tennis in my teens. I got a bit more interested in tennis and played for a German club but that was really my level, as a club player. My Mum was from Preston so when we came back to the UK, we lived in Preston.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I started working in leisure centres – first as an attendant and eventually became assistant manager – and then I got a job at Southport Tennis Centre as Manager where I worked for 10 years. I realised that I wanted to teach tennis, especially to youngsters, and took my coaching Levels 1, 2 and 3 there. I came to Bolton Arena as Tennis Manager 12 years ago. A lot has changed in that time in tennis generally and here we have the High Performance Centre which attracts many players from outside the Bolton area and further afield including Yorkshire and Cumbria. I’ve been involved in the development side of tennis, bringing large tournaments here and team tournaments like the under-14s – which is something I’ve been really proud of.
IS TENNIS MORE POPULAR AT THIS TIME OF YEAR? Wimbledon Fortnight always makes a difference and we get more people coming to play tennis at the Arena, which is great.
IS YOUR WORK JUST WITHIN THE ARENA? No. We have an outreach programme where we work with 25 different schools and we try to promote tennis across the borough. We’re also working with tennis clubs at Lostock and Eagley and putting on sessions in Moss Bank Park.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF TENNIS LOCALLY? I think it needs to be available to more people by making it fun, through cardio and other sorts of enjoyable tennis sessions, to help everyone’s fitness and making sport more accessible.
WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING AT THE ARENA? The staff and the facilities are great here. My job is never mundane, it’s always different, working with different people. I still really enjoy it.
HOW DO YOU KEEP FIT THESE DAYS? I don’t get on court enough to play tennis these days but I tend to go for a 30-minute run which I like.