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Ace way to help more people play tennis

Posted onPosted on 9th Aug

Budding Andy Murrays and Johanna Kontas are being given an opportunity to nurture their talents as one of Nottinghamshire’s oldest sports clubs launches a new community drive to encourage more people to take up tennis.

Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club has introduced an easy-access, pay-as-you-play initiative through the introduction of an online booking system for players to book a court following the installation of new fencing and an electronic gate with an access keypad.  

It will mean players can use facilities at the club without having to pay a yearly membership, ultimately improving access to the sport for people of all ages, ability and backgrounds.

Nottinghamshire County Council has contributed £6,207 towards the project, via its Local Improvement Scheme, with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) covering the remainder of the estimated final costs of around £15,000.

Nottinghamshire County Council leader and Mansfield North ward member, Coun Ben Bradley MP, said he was delighted the LIS funding would help to improve access to tennis for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

“The club does a wonderful job in promoting not only the sport itself but also actively encourages more people to exercise and take up a healthier lifestyle,” he said

The club, based on Pheasant Hill, off Chesterfield Road in the town, dates to 1883. It received a lease of life when a new purpose-built clubhouse was opened in 2019, providing disabled facilities for the first time and a veranda viewing area for parents to watch their children during coaching sessions and summer camps.

As well as the new clubhouse, the club also boasts five all-weather courts – including three which are floodlit – and four grass courts. It has 191 members – including 61 juniors – and has coaching programmes for young people, social events, open and family days and carries out outreach work in schools across the area. 

Sharon Cox-Smith, club chairman, said: “Launching this scheme enables us to open up the sport to more people and aligns with our vision to help develop people on a personal level and improve health within the community. 

“It means anyone who wants to play tennis can do so by logging on to our website, seeing which courts are available and simply selecting one. 

“People will be able to choose a court and then pay online for it. They will then be given an access code, which they will be able to use at the new electronic gate which has a keypad.”

For information or to book online, go to https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/MansfieldLawnTennisClub