Newmarket Lawn Tennis Club planning to install three clay courts
Newmarket Lawn Tennis Club has made a number of enhancements to its facility in recent years – and now plans are in place for one of the biggest improvements yet.
With membership numbers sliding, the Hamilton Road-based club – among other things – took the decision to repair dilapidated courts, appoint LTA Level 5 performance coach Bruce Tarran and redecorate its clubhouse.
And now the club, which was formed in 1948, is hoping that by the end of the year they will have three Grade 1 synthetic clay courts in place.
The work – dubbed ‘Project Clay’ – is set to cost an estimated £110,000, with the funding set to come via grants from the likes of Sport England and an interest-free LTA loan, as well as fundraising events at the club.
When completed, members and non-members will be able to play all year round, while also bringing the club in line with their counterparts across Europe.
Committee member Phil Eaves said: “Some of the current courts are not playable during the whole year.
“They retain water and are not porous whatsoever, so it means we have to turn people away.
“Many clubs are migrating that way and it will bring us on a level footing with European clubs.
“Clay is fast becoming the preferred surface of the LTA and it will also give our juniors an advantage when they go into competitions on that surface. It also opens up the possibility of hosting regional or even national tournaments.
“Another key factor is that clay helps to eliminate injuries. It is a softer surface and that means there are less injuries.”
Eaves went on to reveal that the new courts – likely to be ready for play in either September or October – will hopefully lead to a bigger link up with the local community and schools in the area.
“We have seven outdoor courts at the moment, three of which are unusable a lot of the time – even in the summer when it rains,” he added.
“The more availability we have, hopefully that will make us more of a community club.
“It would be great to see schools come along to play and get players playing that have never previously given the sport a go. At the moment that is not possible when the weather is bad.”
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More by this authorLiam Apicella