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New Northwood Bubble

Virgin Active Northwood doubles up with new Tennis Bubble and cutting edge PlaySight performance tech

07 Oct 2015

  • Wimbledon champs Jamie Murray, Jeremy Bates and Jo Durie open new bubble
  • New bubble to be home to JTC
  • Virgin Active joins Wimbledon, The Queen’s Club and Stoke Park as 1 of only 4 Tennis Centres in the UK to have the cutting edge PlaySight SmartCourt Technology

Virgin Active Northwood becomes a home to tennis excellence today as Jeremey Bates, Jamie Murray and Jo Durie launched its new state of the art Tennis Bubble, making year round court access a reality for its tennis players and JTC’s up and coming stars. In addition to the Bubble, Virgin Active Northwood joins the world class facilities of Wimbledon, The Queen’s Club and Stoke Park as one of only four Tennis Centres to have the revolutionary PlaySight SmartCourt technology installed.

The bubble, part funded by the LTA, will house the Junior Tennis Coaching (JTC) Academy that has called Virgin Active Northwood home for the past three years. With the success of its programming, led by former world no. 5 Player Jo Durie, David Felgate and Alan Jones, JTC seeks to prepare students to enable them to achieve their highest possible level in tennis through intensive group training. JTC academy has recently expanded to enable a further 20 talented young tennis players to join the programme and will train at the Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside Club.

David Felgate said, "The new facility at Northwood is truly the best quality tennis bubble I have ever had the pleasure to play or coach in. Thanks to the partnership with Virgin Active and the LTA, JTC players will have the benefits of playing on an internationally recognised surface, without having to deal with the winter elements. Clearly, there will be no excuses for JTC players for not achieving their goals."

Simon Jones, Head of Performance Support at the LTA said, “The Virgin Active vision of delivering tennis in an engaging and exciting way, as well as the experienced and motivated JTC team makes the partnership a dynamic one for British tennis and the LTA is proud of. We believe that they both have the potential to deliver players of truly world class through their programmes and continue to help Great Britain become of the World’s leading nations.”

PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology has been installed on one of the club’s indoor courts and will:

  • Give players and coaches video-review and analytics tools previously only available to elite professionals
  • Bring all of the benefits of the SmartCourt system – called the ‘PlaySight Edge’ – from line calling to live streaming to instant multi-angle video review to detailed analytics and statistics of very single shot.
  • The SmartCourt is equipped with an interactive touch-screen kiosk, plus six HD cameras that capture every serve, smash and ace! The system uses advanced image processing and analytical algorithms to capture and automatically log stroke type, ball trajectory, speed and spin, in-depth shot data, player movement and more.
  • Access to the PlaySight Network (www.playsight.com and the playsight app) – where players have all of their SmartCourt sessions saved – they can share highlights on social media and review any shot through their computer or mobile phone.

Gary Stewart, Virgin Active’s Head of Racquets, is thrilled about the new technology.

"We are proud to bring to the Virgin Active members the most advanced player analytics technology. PlaySight will make the game more fun and appealing to new and casual players while providing an incredible training tool for the more frequent player.”

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