Boom-time at tennis club as players new and old get back on court

Members of Woodbridge Tennis Club have seen a boom in the sport since lockdown Picture: RICHARD GING

Members of Woodbridge Tennis Club have seen a boom in the sport since lockdown Picture: RICHARD GINGER - Credit: Archant

An east Suffolk tennis club has experienced a boom in membership numbers since lockdown restrictions were eased for certain sports and recreation.

Woodbridge Tennis Club has welcomed more than 40 new members in recent weeks, which is a substantial increase on the typical number of people joining the club at this time of year when compared to previous years.

Tennis was one of the first sports to be allowed to take place as lockdown restrictions began to be eased by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Steve Lemon, chairman of Woodbridge Tennis Club, said: “We’ve seen a huge amount of interest in the club as people realise that playing tennis in the fresh air is the perfect way to stay active while complying to social distancing restrictions.

“We’ve had new members joining who are returning to tennis after not playing for a few years, through to those who have never played before and want some fitness and fun.”

In line with the latest guidance and measures from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Woodbridge Tennis Club has put in place a range of procedures to ensure that members can stay safe on court and when visiting the club, which has six all-weather courts at Kingston Field in Woodbridge.

These include maintaining social distancing both on and off court, the closure of clubhouse facilities and the use of hand sanitisers when entering and leaving the club.

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With the continuing restrictions on certain aspects of the club’s playing activities, such as match play sessions, the committee also reduced the membership fees by 50% for the remainder of the year.

“These are challenging times for all of us, particularly seeing the club temporarily close its doors in March,” said Steve, “however, it’s great now to be able to get back on court and welcome so many new faces to the club.”

The club’s head coach, Jon Mansfield, and the rest of the coaching team have also restarted teaching after the enforced break.

Jon said, “We’re getting lots of enquiries from people in the area who either want to get back into the game and are a bit rusty or have never played before.

“They’ve realised that outdoor tennis is a great way to keep healthy, meet people and stay safe with socially-distanced play.”

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