Growing the game of tennis: Upgrading and maintaining facilities

Ryde court resurfacing

Ryan Henry

Ryan won multiple Australian national singles and doubles titles as a junior and was a key member of Australian team that won the 16/U world junior championships held in Japan. By the age of 18, he had achieved rankings of World No. 1 in U/18 Doubles, World No. 16 in U/18 Singles, 271 in ATP Doubles and 424 in ATP Singles and competed in the Australian Open Mens Singles and Doubles main draw. Ryan retired early from the game at age 19 due to repetitive injuries and has since focused on developing a career as a tennis professional.


  • AICD Governance Foundations Directors Qualification
  • The EDG business essentials program graduate
  • Dent Business Accelerator Program graduate
  • Tennis Australia Master Club Professional and Diploma of Business
  • Tennis Australia Learning Facilitator certificate
  • Strength and Conditioning Level 1
  • Olympic Weight Lifting Level 1

Career history

  • 2004: Tennis NSW High Performance Coach
  • 2006: Tennis NSW Academy Head Coach
  • 2008: Head Performance Coach at Langley Tennis Club in London
  • 2011: Co-founded Voyager Tennis Academy
  • 2017: Joined the Tennis NSW board as a Director
  • 2019: Co-authored and published book ‘Winning on and off the court’

Ryan is responsible for the overall management and development of Voyager Tennis and is passionate about helping tennis thrive at all levels from grass roots right the way through to the professional level.

What I love about Tennis?
I loved the intensity of competing as a player and all the life opportunities that Tennis has provided such as character building, world travel and helping me to build a career. I’d like to share these opportunities and help as many players as possible to develop to their full potential as both players and as people.

 In 2022 Voyager is investing in resurfacing 16 tennis courts, installing new lights over 19 courts, upgrading fencing and refurbishing 6 tennis clubhouses

In the second of three blog posts we share our insights and approach to growing the game of tennis with a specific focus on planning for upgrading and maintaining facilities.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s tennis was booming, and many tennis facilities were built over this period, particularly in Australia. As of 2022, there are many venues that are in poor condition due to a lack of investment over several decades and are under threat of being rezoned or repurposed for other sports and activities. One of the primary goals of Voyager is to improve the game of tennis by reviving and upgrading ageing facilities. This reduces the risk of losing tennis courts as well as making tennis more attractive by providing a venue that enhances the experience of each participant.

Renovations Meadowbank clubhouse

Renovations for upgraded clubhouse at Voyager Meadowbank 

Asset management plan

To help build the foundations of a sustainable tennis facility, a venue needs to have an asset management plan in place so that it can build a sinking fund to pay for upgrades and replacement of tennis courts, fencing, lighting, clubhouses, and other amenities as and when required. The plan should consider the current condition of the facilities, the timing in which assets need to be upgraded or replaced along with the associated costs with inflation factored in. This needs to be a long-term plan spanning over a 10+ year period or to the end of the guaranteed tenure of the contract.

Ryde court resurfacing project

Voyager Ryde resurfacing of 8 courts in 2022

Budget and operational plan

Once the costs associated with facility upgrades are known, a budget can be developed with the aim of the revenue covering all operating and capital expenditure requirements. Unfortunately, there are many examples of venues having good asset management plans in place and still not generating enough income to pay for facility upgrades. Therefore, it’s so important to have the right mix of programming, appropriately priced and effectively marketed so that participation is high enough to run a sustainable business. It’s worth noting that sometimes the poor condition of facilities is not always the fault of the venue operator as there can be restrictions and limitations with the contract with the landlord including having limited tenure.

BBQ and deck build

Newly constructed BBQ and deck area at Voyager Artarmon

Engaging contractors

Engaging multiple companies to execute facility renovations is a big decision and is worth taking the time to research given that the investment is often several hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time. Our philosophy around selecting a company for court resurfacing, fencing, lighting or clubhouse and amenity upgrades is to inspect the contractors previous work and ask for references from associated venue owners as to how effectively and timely the upgrades were executed as well as the usability after the work was completed. Although sometimes more expensive, we prefer to use the most reputable companies in the industry with a strong track record to ensure they have the resources and experience required to execute the job to the desired standard.

By Ryan Henry, Managing Director of Voyager Tennis and Ex-Pro Tennis Player

The above blog post is an excerpt from an article written by Voyager’s Ryan Henry for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Coaching and Sport Science Review.

The ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review is the official coaching and sport science publication of the International Tennis Federation. The ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review is an Open Access scholarly peer-reviewed journal aimed to publish studies in different sub-disciplines within the world of tennis coaching. It aims to provide cutting-edge studies to players, parents, coaches, sports administrators, sports scientists and others.

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