Fulwood tennis club gets new lease of life thanks to ace volunteers

Posted on - 10th June, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Health, Preston News, Sport
The new courts
The new courts were funded by awards from The Harris Charity and Sport England

Fulwood Lawn Tennis Club is enjoying a new lease of life with increased membership and improved facilities – and it’s all thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers.

It’s only a couple of years since the Highgate Avenue club was beset by issues, including a declining membership, a lack of interest from the community, and courts that were in need of re-surfacing.

18 months ago, Club Chair Jane Blackwell asked the membership to decide the future of the club, and 18 members stepped forward to help.

Led by Jane, Treasurer Hannah Catlow and Membership Secretary Denise Ratcliffe, the volunteer team set about making improvements and rolling out new initiatives to raise the club’s profile in the community.

With the larger volunteer workforce, the club started a remarkable turnaround in a short space of time. The improvements to the club and increased participation – inspired and motivated by the members – meant Jane was successful in grant applications to enable their new court project.

Members on the new courts
Membership has increased thanks to the volunteer teams’ efforts

Thanks to The Harris Charity and a large award from The Sport England Community Asset Fund, the four floodlit courts have recently been resurfaced with an all-weather, high quality artificial grass.

Jane said: “We are grateful to The Harris Charity and Sport England for their award from the Community Asset Fund.

“It has been recognised that our tennis facilities are a vital asset to our community, clearly demonstrated by our tennis community, the driving force behind the project. The Club is now thriving, not just surviving, and we can look forward to a healthy future.”

Read more: Campaign launches to block Harris Park homes development in Fulwood

The resurfacing project was completed during lockdown – taking longer with skeleton staff – and the club re-opened once restrictions were eased to allow people to play tennis.

Jane said: “Our members already know the physical, mental and social benefits of getting outdoors and being active, but in the current situation, our facilities are appreciated even more and new members have been rolling in, even before re-opening.

“Volunteering also brings huge benefits and is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling aspect of our lives; whether that contribution is large or small, you can help to make a difference. By utilising our skills, developing new ones and connecting with others, we can share our passion for tennis and give something back.

“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved and look forward to building on this success.”

Read more: Four Fulwood streets combine to run 66-miles for St Catherine’s Hospice

Fulwood Lawn Tennis Club welcomes new members and visitors. For more information, contact Jane on 07708 182036, email or visit the website.

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Are you a member of a tennis club? Do you fancy taking tennis up? Let us know in the comments.

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