Although the dream of indoor tennis during the winter months at Stony Stratford Tennis Club became a reality in November, the official opening of the two new artificial clay courts within an Air-dome took place on Wednesday 10th December.
The event and ceremony brought a huge turnout to welcome the opening of their new facility, including club members and guests of honour from project sponsors and supporters.
The new courts will be in use all year round, whilst the Air-dome will be in place for the months of November through March over the winter months, enabling tennis activities to continue through the worst of the weather. As well being used by members and the Tennis Works Development Programme, a special community schools programme has been introduced as a thank you to the project supporters.
Zak Jones who captained the Men’s Welsh Hockey team and is currently the Great Britain U21 Women’s coach and a keen tennis enthusiast, formally opening the facility. This was followed by John Cavill (Director of Tennis) leading some of the juniors through their paces on court.
Simon Burn, SSLTC Chairman, summed up the mood of the club. "We are delighted to be able to continue Stony's long tradition of offering the best tennis club facilities in north Bucks and South North ants. There is palpable excitement amongst the Stony members with the completion of two new artificial clay courts, floodlit and covered with an air dome for the winter. It will make a huge difference to young and old, beginner or aspiring star playing at Stony. We are indebted to the generosity and support of our large membership and to the National Hockey Foundation who have been hugely generous with their grant. Without them this would not have been possible nor our ability to further extend our offer of tennis into the community. We are also grateful to the Bucks LTA for their loan and continued support to develop tennis in Milton Keynes to the benefit of all playing at or visiting Stony Stratford Tennis Club"
Andrew Petherick, Chairman of Bucks LTA, who is eager to try out the new court surface says. “I am delighted that work is now complete on the two-court bubble at Stony Stratford LTC. Bucks LTA was pleased to support the project with a grant and loan. We are endeavouring to support clubs build indoor facilities which should help to grow participation and further improve performance levels in our sport. Volunteers at Stony Stratford LTC are to be congratulated on this initiative.”
Tony Billson, Chairman of the National Hockey Foundation says. " The National Hockey Foundation has been pleased to support this exciting project. We have been able to support several important sporting and social projects in Milton Keynes over the last few years and we see this as another opportunity to help the growth of sport and particularly the chance to encourage young people to develop their sporting talents. We are sure that this project will achieve ours and the clubs objectives."
Melvyn Jones of Tennis Works and SSLTC who lobbied the project supporters throughout the fund raising stage acknowledged the fantastic support given. “After our own club members, it is amazing that the largest financial supporter was the National Hockey Foundation, they should be immensely proud of their desire to provide sporting facilities for youth in the area. We have a facility which will serve members and the community for many years to come”.
To celebrate this new facility there is a new Schools Development Tennis programme starting in the New Year for beginners aged between 4 and 9. For information visit www.tennisworks.net/stony/schools or to get involved in tennis, please contact Tennis Works on 0203 286 5590 or go to www.tennisworks.net/stony