JON ASKEY / HERON TENNIS NEWQUAY
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1. Tell us about you/your company/project.
We opened our doors at Heron Tennis in 2004 to provide opportunities for Newquay and surrounding areas to play the game and a place to play to be proud of for all involved! Heron was some years in the making for my father, Terry Askey. A good footballer in his day he saw an opportunity to provide a tennis club to the area and Cornwall. Providing covered courts was a primary focus and to incorporate a sociable atmosphere where everyone is welcomed, a place where visitors and members are encouraged to play the game we are all passionate about. Our Heron team have all been with us from the start rarely seen in many businesses, a huge factor in our success so far…… We provide tennis opportunities for all, it really is a sport for life! Tennis sessions include Toddlers, Minis, Super Seniors, Disability, Wheelchair, Out and abouters, Individual and groups, Top Squad, Club nights, Juniors, Development squads, Cardio, Adult beginners to advanced, and of course many hours available for practice. Our club has two indoors, eight outdoors, 2 mini courts, Courtside Cafe and a space for work or exercise.
2. What is your deep reason for choosing the path you're taking? Your "why”?
Sport is the greatest tool we have for health, learning, but most importantly developing friendships. Growing up Rugby was and still is a huge passion for me but I chose at 16 to pursue my tennis. Sport has provided so many moments to remember, moments that help you grow, learn, test your character, win and lose, problem solve, life skills! My father encouraged us to play our Sport and tennis became a huge passion for my Brother and I. Now working closely together I think this will be a massive asset.
3. What is the big dream, or legacy you're creating?
Having moved back home in August I will look to build on what my father and our team have already created and look to move forward with Heron. Grow the club and provide lasting opportunities for as many as possible.
4. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
To have worked harder in my Junior and early adult days in everything. Thinking then I was working hard, and knowing now how much you really need to work to achieve greater things in tennis. Also to find a way to solve things, doing more in other words, to find solutions.
5. What companies/projects inspire you?
Tough question but I think people and places inspire me. I think back to my Dad, watching him play football, my coaches who I have had through the years, Harry Livesey, Chris Sanderson, Gordon Birt to name a few. The last club I worked at had grounds that had 40 tennis courts in the Summer. The grounds were absolutely immaculate and seeing the big team work every day to provide a place of beauty inspires me. Music, design ideas, Roger Federer, Muhammad Ali all inspire me in different ways.
6. What does your industry/Cornwall/location need to see more of?
Indoor courts at Heron! Newquay needs to invest in the town centre and not fan out too much onto greenbelt land as the town HAD lots of history but has lost its beauty and is now made up of eclectic businesses some open, some struggling, some only summer trade, some closing down etc. Some homes as well could do with some support. The main area that I don’t like is the general upkeep of properties and pride in a places up keep. A coat of paint, a tidy up, some gardening and a declutter would go a long way. And less signs! Anyway going off topic a little! The knock on effect of this would be massive for all local businesses and for our town and beaches.
7. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on now?
Working to keep girls in the game, starting with a girls group I am working with and looking to start a ladies beginner group. We have a great space to use for work, exercise, learning, socialising and meeting and I’m excited about increasing its usage whilst working alongside our new cafe team, who are outstanding. Also being a parent of two, I know that my responsibility is huge and I have to work at this all the time, to provide and instil the correct values and to their start in their little lives!
8. What problem in the world do you see that you’re fixing?
To provide simplicity and balance in my daily life. The values that Heron provides I hope transfers to the juniors and adults as much as possible through each time we spend on and off court. Core values of hard work, enjoyment and learning to name a few.
9. If you could go back, what's one thing you would have done differently?
Worked harder to have played at a higher standard in my sport. Learnt a language and the piano!
10. Who has been the most help to you along the way? And why?
It has be my father and brother over the years to guide me and provide me with my opportunities.
Feel free to give some love to anyone else out there doing great things: The Courtside Cafe at Heron and As One!
Who do you need to be connected to? Who can help you?
One area we would massively benefit from is to find some sponsors to help fund particular things for example all tennis balls for all the kids programme, schools tennis sessions, sponsor our Heron Open Grade 3 in May half term, a Heron Grade 4 tournament on August 12th-16th, etc. Sponsors can gain memberships through sponsoring Heron Tennis and we provide their business exposure around the tennis club. We are massively thankful to our sponsors as these funds enable us to keep up the standard in and around our club. Call me on 07870696425. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. If interested I would take great pleasure to show you around the club.
How can people get in touch? 01637 877555. Email email@example.com.