Today, Monday March 29, is a great day for the members at Marlborough Tennis. The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown means that from today outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts can re-open and Marlborough tennis members who have not hit a tennis ball since the third lockdown began on January 6 can now start to play tennis once more.
“We are one of the few sports that can be played under the new government guidelines, so our members have been busy booking courts in readiness for the court gates opening again,” said Marlborough Tennis Chair, Andrew Payne.
“Like everyone else, we have had a stop-start 12 months so we are hoping this year will be better for every keen local or visiting tennis player,” commented Andrew. “Outdoor tennis is recognised as one of the safest sports to play so people can play in confidence and complete safety.”
Marlborough Tennis was successful in recently securing a grant from the Marlborough Area Board which will enable it to provide free tennis coaching to support teenagers aged 13-16 across the town who might need a little help.
COVID has affected people across all ages, in both physical and mental health terms and Sport England research identified that 38% of children did less activity than pre-restriction and 36% were not as active due to school closures.
“We’d like to help people of all ages get back into sport, and stay healthy so Marlborough Tennis is planning to launch a new programme aimed at 13-16 year old teenagers mid-April,” said Andrew.
“The Step-Up programme will allow us to open our facilities to these youngsters and spend time coaching them how to play the game,” said Coach Joe Revelle. “We invest heavily in our juniors and this is a great addition to an already busy programme.”
Marlborough Tennis is also busy with efforts to grow its membership base and believes the relaxation of lockdown laws will be a great boost for sport and tennis in particular. “We know there is a massive pent-up demand for sport, “said Andrew. “People have been locked down for three months with limited opportunities to take exercise, so tennis is a great way of getting back into playing sport, with friends, in a safe and secure environment – the tennis net is a great way of enforcing social distancing! We have seen lots of enquires for new memberships and anticipate many more now we are back on court.”
Marlborough Tennis surveyed its 320 members last year and the results showed over 83% were very satisfied with all that the club had to offer. “But we can’t stand still,” said Andrew. “The LTA encouraged us to enter the Wiltshire Club of The Year competition which we narrowly missed winning, but next time we want to make sure we come first!”
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Information on Marlborough Tennis
Marlborough Tennis is based at Port Hill within the Golf Club complex. The club moved to this newly built site in 2018 and has 6 all-weather courts, four of which are floodlit.
Any member of the public can access the Pay and Play courts for as little as £5 an hour.
Memberships starts from £40 for Juniors up to £265 for a family of two adults and all children. Peter May is the New Member Coordinator so make contact with him if you are thinking of taking up tennis.