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Tennis Weekend to Mark Opening of Smashing New Facilities
Budding Andy Murrays can sample tennis for free at one of the best public tennis facilities in the country this Sunday 17th May.
Swindon Community Tennis is taking part in the Great British Tennis Weekend and will proudly showcase 10 newly resurfaced full size outdoor courts, a four-court mini tennis zone and new pavilion and community café at its St Mark’s Recreation Ground base between 11am and 3pm.
The brand new pavilion, which has only recently been completed, replaces the previous mobile cabins and was funded by Swindon Borough Council using £500,000 from Section 106 developer contributions.
The new building has been given a modern appearance to relate to its new location and to act as a focus for the park.
The park itself has also been improved with upgraded paths, an enlarged basketball court, works to trees and a much improved frontage to Whitehouse Road. The latter involves opening up the park to the road by replacing a hedge with attractive iron railings. This has not only made people more aware of the park and its facilities, but also made it safer.
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has provided further improvements by the way of £80,000 in grant funding for the resurfacing of all the tennis courts.
Swindon Community Tennis moved to the St Mark’s site five years ago and has been working in partnership with the Council and the LTA to improve the provision of tennis and the facilities at the recreation ground. The Club is due to take on a 25-year lease from the Council to run the tennis facilities on a permanent basis.
To mark the opening of the new facilities the tennis club is offering people of all ages and abilities the chance to try tennis for free as part of the LTA’s Great British Tennis Weekend, which aims to get more people playing tennis by offering free opportunities to play.
Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We have been working closely with Swindon Community Tennis and the LTA in order to improve the tennis facilities at St Mark’s and I’m thrilled these new facilities will be available in time for the height of the tennis season.
“The tennis club has done a fabulous job in promoting grassroots tennis in the time they have been based at St Mark’s and I hope that by investing in the facilities and transferring them to the club on a 25-year lease we will continue to see tennis flourish in Swindon.”
On Sunday, the tennis club will be offering family play, coaching tips for adults and juniors and plenty of fun. Advanced bookings are advised but not essential.
Tim Poole, Chairman of Swindon Community Tennis, said: “This is an exciting time for the community as a whole, not just those already interested in tennis. The partnership has delivered what has to be the premier tennis facilities in Swindon following significant investment by all partners.
“The beauty of it is that we can now offer opportunities for tennis for everyone in the community at all levels catering for people of all abilities from family fun to competitive league tennis. Importantly, at £30 a year we are offering really affordable and accessible tennis to all. For a family of four this equates to about 15 pence per week per person.”
James Deem, LTA Regional Tennis Participation Manager, said: “It has been fantastic to work with colleagues from Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Community Tennis to bring this project to fruition.
“This is one of the best public tennis facilities in the country and it’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone in Swindon to pick up a racket at an affordable price.
“We very much look forward to the number of people accessing tennis in Swindon to increase and encourage anyone who wants to give tennis a try to come to the free launch event on the 17th May.”
For further details about the Great British Tennis Weekend event at St Mark’s Recreation Ground and to book places on any of the sessions visit: http://tinyurl.com/n92mf25