Note: The C3 metallic bubble envelope and embossed seal (that features on the end-paper) is for pre-order packs only.
Printed in Italy, by one of Europe’s leading producers of high-quality books and limited in number to just 2,000 copies. At nearly 30cm square, this large-format book has been produced using the finest materials and the latest printing technology.
Why a book?
Books have a weight, a mass and a place in our lives – on a bookshelf, a coffee table or under our beds. In the transitory digital world in which we live, the printed book remains a unique and permanent point of ready reference. A respite from digital distractions, the printed book is an immersive experience, both physical and tactile. It’s why ebook sales fell in 2016 as younger generations drive the appetite for print, according to The Guardian. We’ve poured a great deal of thought, care and attention into creating this unique book, and while the images alone are inspiring, we believe that the real value lies in the words within.
It started something like this…
It’s Monday night, early 2018. Dave Courteen is talking tennis with Duncan and Andy over dinner. That’s when it started. Dave shared his passion for sport, for football, but in particular tennis. As the Managing Director of Mosaic Spa & Health Clubs, he knows a thing or two about sport. After over 30 years running health clubs and day spas, it’s clear that Dave has a passion and commitment to sport, where he combines his love of the game with his love of running friendly health clubs that people want to be a part of. Back to the dinner conversation. Dave loves tennis, he knows about tennis, plays a bit of tennis and knows people who play tennis at the highest level. Dave also knows photographer Richard Dawson, who, over the last few years has captured the passion of on-court play in pictures. The images are good, very good and Dave wants to create a beautiful, large-format photographic book that celebrates tennis.
We’ll get to why Dave wants to create a book shortly. We’ll also attempt to answer why people will be encouraged to purchase the book. For now, think culture crashing into sport, onto court and into life where the book More To Gain Than Just The Game captures what we actually receive from the game, beyond the score, the sweat and the prospect of silverware.
You know how ideas change?
Well that’s what happened to the book. ‘How about adding stories to accompany the pictures?’ Duncan said, glass of Merlot in hand. Maybe include a more immersive reading experience, where stories talk about the power and influence of sport on and off court. Dave agreed, and started to write what became stories centred on showing up, being excellent, overcoming fear, identifying gaps, finding your ‘thing’ and leaving a legacy. The book gained momentum. The idea grew, and that’s when Dave asked (over pudding) if Andy (a graphic designer specialising in branding and books) would be interested in partnering. He said yes. Dave also shared his idea with Kate Taylor, writer, editor and founder of independent pubisher Middle Farm Press. She loved it, she was on board.
Dave has a punchy, affable, pacey style of writing – honest and disarming, informative, revealing and passionate. He’s economic with words, in a way that suggests he values the reader’s time. He cares, and I like that, I like Dave’s style, he has a way with words, he tells a great story. He also writes a good story. It turns out this is Dave’s second book, his first book The Last Chocolate Brownie, captures (in diary form) a very personal and moving account of his wife’s battle with breast cancer. Originally written as a blog, which attracted over 20,000 hits, The Last Chocolate Brownie is a story about how to live life when the going gets tough.
Now complete, Dave wants to share his stories with the world. OK, maybe first with Shropshire – but the world non the less, and I think it goes something like this: Sport, including tennis, is about so much more than rackets, balls, results, tradition, culture, competition and trophies. I think we know that. We also know sport is about challenge, defeat, acceptance, limits and temperament. Maybe early mornings, blood, sweat and tears. But sport is also about beauty, harmony and flow. It’s gladiatorial and lonely, spectacular and inspiring, where sport transforms us from the outside in. It changes us, challenges us, the way we think and feel, our self perception, value and worth. It can damn near kill us, but if we can harness its transformative power, we have a chance to change ourselves for the better, where it breaks down barriers and brings us together. We might not win the silver salver, decorated with figures from mythology, but we have a chance to do what our hero’s and heroines do. Tennis, and sport can change the world for the better, change us for the better, in the place we find ourselves, in the here and now.
We hope you enjoy More To Gain Than Just The Game as much as we have enjoyed creating it.
The MTG team – February 2019