Tennis club glows after generous donations
- Credit: Paul Cansdale
The new year will start in style at East Bergholt Tennis Club after new floodlights were finally installed, replacing some that were nearly 30 years old.
The club has been going from strength to strength with a huge rise in membership post-lockdown, and the new lights will improve facilties for members old and new.
Committee member and club coach, Matthew Watson, said: "When I got involved with the club the floodlights were about 30 years old, and they had been patched up rather than checked and maintained.
“Because the club wasn’t being used as much it wasn’t necessarily an issue, but now there's been a lot more activity going on, therefore the lights were breaking down, bulbs were going out, the brightness was very low, the quality was very poor.
“So, as a club and a committee we decided to try and find a way of raising money, and looked down various different avenues.
“We decided that Crowdfunder would be a good place to start. So, we put a crowd funding campaign together which took quite a lot of prep to do, and also was quite intense as there was only a month to try and get as many donations in as possible.”
The club was able to hit their target, raising just over £10,000, including a £3,000 grant from Sport England. Babergh District Council have also pledged a further £15,000 for the club which they hope to receive soon.
Mr Watson said: "The lights are used five days a week in the evenings so that will be for things like coaching, matches, social evenings."
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The lights are also more environmentally friendly, utilising LED rather than halogen bulbs which cost less to run, and require less maintenance."
Less than a year and a half ago the club was almost at the point of folding, until Mr Watson and a new committee stepped in.
Mr Watson added: "The club was dying, there was nothing going on there, the courts were going to rack and ruin.
"Myself, and other people who joined the committee, decided to transform the club. We went from something like 22 members to not far off 300."
Mr Watson thanked the installers, R.Baldwin electricals. If you would like to get involved with the club you can do so by contacting Mr Watson via email