The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Tennis Foundation have announced that Valley Road and Vernon Park tennis courts in Nottingham have been awarded ‘Beacon’ status as part of the AEGON Parks Tennis programme.
The park sites have achieved the national accolade – alongside more than 200 sites across the country – which recognises the best community-focussed facilities offering free and affordable tennis as part of the AEGON Parks Tennis programme.
To achieve this status, facilities must also offer access to quality, affordable coaching as well as regular competitions for all ages and abilities.
The award is in recognition of the club’s efforts to build a local community tennis club which is open to everyone.
Andy McFeeters, LTA Tennis Development Manager for the region, said: “We are delighted to have presented Valley Road and Vernon Park tennis courts with the Beacon award.
“A lot of people have put in a huge amount of work to make sure the tennis offering at these courts is to a high standard and, more importantly, accessible to all. We hope this national recognition really helps these park sites to attract new players.”
To celebrate, 60 children from the local Seely Junior School were given a free lesson delivered by staff from On The Ball Coaching who have taken over the activity programme at both park sites.
Labour MP for Nottingham East, Chris Leslie, then presented the plaque to Eddie Curry, Nottingham City Council's head of Parks and Open Spaces and also got on court with the local school to show off his skills.
He added: “The launch of the two Beacon sites will provide free and affordable tennis for local communities and will help ensure a lasting legacy for sport in Nottingham. It’s been a great summer for sport and I hope this will help drive more people towards playing, watching and competing in tennis for years to come.”
The LTA have provided around £6,000 to kick start the programmes at both sites, as well as some other sites across the City. This is part of Nottingham’s Community Tennis Development Plan set up in partnership with the City Council to help inspire more people to be more active more often.
The AEGON Parks Tennis programme aims to increase community access to tennis in parks and communities nationwide. Delivered by the LTA and Tennis Foundation, AEGON Parks Tennis is a key programme in British tennis’ drive to increase participation and grow tennis at all levels. The long-term aim is to have an AEGON Parks Tennis site acting as a centre of community tennis excellence in each of the local authority areas in Britain.
To find a playing partner, a local court or coach, register at www.allplaytennis.com