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Andrew Castle to open Stratford's new indoor tennis courts

Inside one of Stratford-on-Avon Tennis Club’s new domes.
Inside one of Stratford-on-Avon Tennis Club’s new domes.

FORMER British number one tennis player Andrew Castle will open Stratford Tennis Club’s new indoor courts this Sunday.

The TV presenter is the star attraction at Swans Nest Lane as the club prepares to officially unveil its new ‘bubble’ courts, known as the domes.

The event forms part of a busy day at the club, where they will also host the Davis Cup Trophy Tour from 10am.

Visitors on the day will be able to engage in free tennis activities and also have a picture with the Davis Cup trophy itself.

It all caps a momentous year for the club both on and off the court.

In July last year, the club commissioned two indoor courts and resurfaced three of its seven courts with state-of-the-art artificial clay surfaces.

In recognition of this, Stratford were awarded the prestigious Club of the Year title for 2015 by Warwickshire LTA.

The domes project was the brainchild of Stratford TC’s manager, Graeme Adams.

Adams got the project rolling by successfully obtaining planning permission for two single-skin dome structures for two of the seven courts.

The club then received a £50,000 grant from the Stratford Town Trust and a further £50,000 from Sport England to help ensure the dream became a reality.

The view from the clubhouse.
The view from the clubhouse.

Justin Williams, chief executive of Stratford Town Trust, said: “We are very proud to support the outstanding facilities the community can now access at Stratford Tennis Club.

“The ability to play indoors all year round makes a huge difference to the future stars of the sport and we look forward to cheering on some homegrown champions!”

Sport England property director, Charles Johnston, added: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country.

“Since 2011, we’ve invested £102 million into more than 1,920 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs. It’s great to see Stratford-on-Avon Tennis Club join the list of clubs to benefit from this fund.”

The LTA also provided £50,000, while the club also took out a £50,000 loan to help finance the project. The Warwickshire LTA also supported the venture with a £20,000 interest-free loan.

Chairman of WLTA Sherrie Meaking with Stratford Tennis Club chairman John Dixon.
Chairman of WLTA Sherrie Meaking with Stratford Tennis Club chairman John Dixon.

Sherrie Meaking, chairman of the Warwickshire LTA, said: “Stratford Tennis Club was chosen as our club of the year because they have been very proactive within the county, especially with regard to securing funding of their domes project.

“We were delighted to help fund such an exciting project.

“We have has been looking for an opportunity for covered courts within south Warwickshire at a private club for many years.”

The erection of the domes has already seen an increased demand for membership at the club and chairman John Dixon is hoping the changes will inspire other clubs in the county to follow suit.

He said: “This weekend’s events are not just about the Davis Cup or the unveiling of our new facilities, but it is also a story about how clubs and funding partners can work together for mutual benefit.

“We hope that this project could offer other clubs inspiration and the motivation to develop their own ‘growing the game’ strategies.”

For more details on the domes and this weekend’s Davis Cup Trophy tour, visit the club’s website at www.stratfordonavontennisclub.co.uk

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