History

Paul Butcher and Ben Knight are the driving force behind tennisMAD, and between them, they have nearly half a century of coaching experience. Since combining their skills back in 2010, they have built an incredibly successful programme, boasting over 500 regular tennis-playing juniors and countless adults, across five; year-round sites spanning Devon and Cornwall.

The tennisMAD journey began back in 1985, when Paul established himself at the South Devon Tennis Centre in Ivybridge, which now serves as the headquarters of the company. Since then, tennisMAD has expanded to additionally run highly successful coaching programmes at Callington, Stover, Mannamead, Kingsbridge and NOW recently Tavistock, in addition to summer-term sessions at Looe and Stonehouse.


Paul and the South Devon Tennis Centre

Paul relocated to the Devon from Yorkshire in the eighties, following a highly successful playing career. Having peaked inside the UK’s top 20 for the under-21 age bracket, Paul focused his passion for tennis on coaching, and, with tireless commitment, has helped transform the South Devon Tennis Centre from a small four-court outdoor centre into one of the South West’s leading tennis venues.
With 2015 marking Paul’s thirtieth year at SDTC, his coaching resume boasts unrivalled success in the region, including upwards of 50 county champions nurtured under his and tennisMAD’s guidance.
Paul’s motivation and passion for the sport remains as strong as when he began coaching decades ago.


Ben and his tennis travels

A professional coach of fifteen years, Ben has experience of running highly successful coaching programmes both in the UK and overseas. Following learning his trade under elite coaches in the UK, Ben moved to Australia, and soon became the lead coach at the Eastern Suburbs Tennis Club, in Sydney. The role required Ben to manage the work of several coaches at one of the largest tennis clubs in Oceania’s biggest city.
Upon returning to the UK, Ben immediately began to forge his own programme in Plymouth. Based at the Esporta club (now the Virgin Active, Devonshire), he created the Plymouth Academy of Excellence, nurturing the county’s top performance players.
In forming ‘KGS Tennis’ back in 2006, Ben created the first Plymouth based tennis company. Working in partnership with local schools and authorities, KGS Tennis provided an extensive programme for juniors over multiple sites, including delivering lessons as a part of school curriculum, before joining forces with Paul in 2010.


tennisMAD & the future

Paul, Ben and all those involved with the tennisMAD Business have experienced first-hand the fantastic benefits to both your health and wellbeing that playing sport can offer. Tennis is one of the few sports that; once learnt, can be played for the rest of your lifetime and as well as being great fun and frustratingly addictive, offers a multitude of health benefits.
Since joining forces, Paul and Ben have worked tirelessly to develop a team of coaches who all share their passion and enthusiasm for teaching coupled with a love of the game. Having created a passionate and motivated team tennisMAD are now able to work out of multiple sites across South Devon & East Cornwall. Our aim is to inspire as many people as possible to start a lifelong journey into tennis, get fit, keep active and create memories and friendships to last a lifetime.