Wollaston Tennis Club serves up new courts after £130,000 makeover

Janet Hanby by the new courts named after her late husband Len. Pic by Dave Tranter

Janet Hanby by the new courts named after her late husband Len. Pic by Dave Tranter

First published in News

WOLLASTON Tennis Club has unveiled brand new courts in memory of a former club stalwart.

The Prestwood Drive based club, which has been nestled away beyond a bridal track in Stourton since 1965, recently splashed out a whacking £130,000 to improve some of its existing courts.

Club members pulled out all the stops to upgrade four of their eight courts up to county level.

Two of them now comprise artificial clay, simulating the French courts of Roland Garros, with another two now providing synthetic grass court tennis.

Proud chairman John Cutler said: "It's the biggest self-funded project we've ever undertaken. We've had other major refurbishments in the past but the money has either been provided through an LTA loan or lottery funding."

Money was raised through membership fees and a host of other activities over several years through the creation of a 'Sinking Fund' - designed to raise money to repair worn out courts.

The refurbished facilities have now been named Hanby Courts and were formally opened by member Janet Hanby, in memory of her husband Len who was a driving force at the club for 47 years before his death in 2012.

Following the refurbishment plans are now afoot to raise the club's profile.

Mr Cutler said: "In the past we've had some conservative committees who quite liked the idea that we were hidden away and the fact people didn't know anything about us.

"But times have changed, members grow old or move on and now we've reached the point where we need new members coming into the club.

"For the first time last season, like many tennis clubs, we took a bit of a blow and our numbers actually dropped.

"At the moment we have around 100 senior members and 70 juniors.

"As a result, we have now started marketing ourselves. We held a hugely successful open day, recruiting a number of new members and we also had a stall at Kinfayre.

"We have four men's and four women's teams taking part in the local leagues.

"But what we're really looking to do is to put ourselves on the map.

"Even our MP Gavin Williamson describes us as a 'hidden gem' and that's a description we need to change."

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