Monkey Tennis is top of the tree for St Annes award winner Kenny Broadbent
Players in St Annes are going wild about Monkey Tennis, which has won its creator a top award.
The Monkey Tennis app, which was developed by Kenny Broadbent for his clubmates at St Annes Tennis Club, has won the Lawn Tennis Association Lancashire award for ‘Best Competition’ and is now in line for national honours.
Blackpool IT expert Kenny, 44, launched Monkey Tennis around a year ago as a “smart singles ladder”, providing a league table based on members’ matches.
Kenny takes up the story: “The idea is that when you play a match you upload the score into the app, then the algorithm will sort your place on the ladder.
“You are awarded points for participation as well as for winning, so you can also move up the ladder by playing more games.
“We started just before the first lockdown last year and it is addictive.
“We soon got people playing two or three times a week to move up the ladder.
“There were no organised competitions or inter-club games last season because of the pandemic but people could still play singles at the club, so the app helped people to arrange matches and give these matches a meaning by adding an element of competition.
“I think it has also helped people to improve their tennis and their fitness because you want to keep playing and you want to win.
“You’d be surprised how much better people have become.”
Having won the Lancashire award, Monkey Tennis (its name is a reference to Steve Coogan’s comedy character Alan Partridge) is automatically nominated for regional and national LTA accolades, which Kenny hopes will help the app to grow.
He added: “It all started for selfish reasons really because I wanted to record my own scores. It grew from there but is still a work in progress.
“The idea now is to get other clubs involved and the long-term vision is for the app to become a means of arranging games with people all around your local area.
“So if I went to London, for example, I could take my racket and use the app to see if anyone wanted a game.”
It’s certainly a big hit with members at St Annes Tennis Club on Wyredale Road, and particularly with Clive Parkinson, who is top of the tree on the Monkey Tennis ladder.
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