Village tennis club 'thriving' with hundreds of new members
- Credit: Graham Daldry
This time last year East Bergholt Tennis Club was almost at the point of folding, but 12 months on the club is "thriving" and has more than 200 members.
The club, which is now run by a committee, has seen a huge surge in new players since the end of the lockdown.
Committee member and club coach, Matthew Watson, said: "In the middle of last year the club was really run down and there was hardly any members.
"East Bergholt Tennis Club operates the tennis courts by agreement with the Parish Council on behalf of its members and the Council and the committee decided we needed to try encourage as many people to come and play tennis.
"The parish council supported us by helping us getting our courts resurfaced as they were in quite a sorry state. A considerable amount of money was put into resurfacing and painting the three courts and repairing the fences."
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The club's committee then sat down and planned out how they would get more local members to join the club and they decided to set up their own coaching lessons with Mr Watson taking the lead.
Mr Watson, added: "It started off with nothing, but now we have 100 people who come for coaching each week including 70 kids and 30 adults.
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"When the club was handed back to the parish council it only had around 12 members but now it has more than 200.
"We have also seen a lot of new people join since the lockdown restrictions were lifted and these are people that would not necessarily play tennis or normally play other sports."
The club is also in the process of raising funds to replace its 30-year-old floodlights.
It has set up a Crowdfunder page in order to raise the £10,000 needed to replace the lights.
So far it has raised more than £7,000 and has 23 days to drum up the remaining funds.