Membership doubles at Wisbech Tennis Club - but hard work is yet to come, says Steve Barclay
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech Tennis Club is celebrating as the amount of members at the club has doubled – all thanks to a facilities upgrade.
The club was buoyed by a £50,000 grant from Sport England, which allowed them to build two new all-weather tennis courts, as well as a mini-court, designed specifically for children.
Since then, the club has experienced a boom in membership, with twice as many juniors and adults coming to the club on Harecroft Road to show case their skills.
The club also embarked on a fundraising campaign, which saw them raise enough money to open a new wooden clubhouse, with space for toilets and a table tennis table.
The club has been backed by many residents of the town, including MP Steve Barclay, who has lobbied for the club to be given a helping hand.
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He said: “What’s happened at Wisbech Tennis Club shows what can be done locally if we match passionate grass roots sports volunteers with state of the art new facilities, but it is far too isolated a case.”
Mr Barclay has also appealed for funds so that the club can replace its two remaining grass courts, which currently do not have any lights – an issue he believes is a ‘constraint’ on the club’s progress.
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“The club’s growth however is now constrained by having just two all-weather courts, as the two remaining courts remain grass courts without lights and so are both expensive to maintain and unplayable on many occasions due to poor light or recent rain,” he said.
“It will cost around £130,000 to convert these courts over to the all-weather surface that has proved such a big hit. The club has received excellent support from the Cambridgeshire Lawn Tennis Association, and I understand they are so impressed with the club that they would fund half the cost of the outstanding work to convert the two grass courts if they club can raise the other £60,000 to £70,000 funds to partner this LTA money.
“I am looking forward to working with the club in the months ahead to identify potential funders to help get this work done.”
Family annual membership for the club costs £160 and individual annual membership costs £95.
Details of their childrens’ coaching programme and other club news can be found on their at www.wisbechtennisclub.org.uk.