Newmarket Tennis Club unveils three new clay courts
Newmarket Tennis Club has had a ‘real big face lift’ – and there is confidence that the facilities are now among the best in the region.
The major addition is the installation of three Grade 1 synthetic clay courts, which as well as allowing for outdoor play all year round, brings the club in line with its counterparts across the continent.
‘Project Clay’ has cost £80,000 to complete, half of which was funded via grants from Sport England and the National Lottery.
The club is also thankful to Newmarket Town Council, Suffolk LTA and its patrons for all of their financial support to the operation.
Play got under way on the new surfaces earlier this week, and the club believe they will reap the benefits for years to come.
Committee member Phil Eaves said: “Without all of the sponsorship and grants we wouldn’t have been able to do this. We are so thankful to everyone that has helped us to complete the work.
“It has been a major project and a real big face lift for the club. It is probably the biggest project at the club in the last 20 to 30 years.
“It’s a competitive market out there. A lot of clubs exist in the area and as players, you compare the amenities that each is able to offer.
“What we have in place now are all-weather courts that will allow play for longer and more frequently. Compared to hard courts, they also help to prevent injury.
“It is also great for our junior members that they will get to experience the clay. A lot of tournaments are played on clay, especially in Europe.
“These courts well help to set us apart from the rest of the tennis community.”
Currently, the Hamilton Road-based club has 300 members on its books, with more than 100 being junior players.
And it is those youngsters that head coach Bruce Tarran is keen to see experience the clay.
“It’s a slower surface with a higher bounce so it will encourage top spin,” he said.
“It brings them in line with the modern game as it at the moment.
“It’s perfect for the kids and it will help us to produce even better players. From a coaching perspective it is really exciting.”
Within the next few weeks, the club is also planning to replace its current court lighting from halogen to LED – a move that is both ecological and economical.