Courting the game - tennis booms despite no Wimbledon this year
PUBLISHED: 05:30 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:51 03 July 2020
Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War due to coronavirus - yet one Suffolk community tennis club is thriving despite the pandemic.
Tennis was one of the first sports declared safe to play once the lockdown restrictions were eased in May, and people took advantage of the beautiful spring weather to get out of the house and on court instead.
Sudbury Tennis Club says it has seen a huge increase in customers wanting to play, helped in no small part by the lure of high-tech lights and clay courts similar to those used in The French Open and Grand Slam tournaments.
Helen Jackson. general and membership secretary for Sudbury Tennis Club, said: “Since we re-opened on the May 13 we have seen a much higher increase of people coming to play - maybe up to 50% more.
“We have introduced a better structure and a more rigorous booking system and have been encouraging people to wash and sanitize their hands before and after playing. We have seen more and more people coming to the club during lockdown, of all ages from five to 75.
“Obviously, students are not at school or university so are coming down either with their friends or with their family. The weather has been glorious too, which has drawn many people out.
“Most courts are what we call ‘hard courts’ but we have three synthetic clay courts put in five years ago which means we can play when other court surfaces are too slippery, we can even play on these courts when it’s raining, they’re brilliant. “Also, in March we had state of the art LED lights installed which means you can play at night and it’s just like playing in the daytime.
“I’m very passionate about the sport and as a club, we pride ourselves on being a very friendly club.
“We have a very enthusiastic coach called Matt Perry who also teaches individuals privately as well as running fabulous coaching groups for juniors of all standards. We also have a recently refurbished clubhouse.
“It’s just a very lovely, friendly club to be a part of.”
There are three courts available accommodating up to four players at a time and the club is open between 8am and 10pm seven days a week.
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