Sheffield club rallies for support in bid to improve courts

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Members of a Sheffield tennis club have started a ‘Save our Courts’ campaign in a drive to raise £45,000 to resurface their four courts.

Stocksbridge Tennis Club says that without the improvements the surface will become too dangerous to play on and the future of the club will be in doubt.

One court has already been deemed too uneven to be used in matches, while other courts are slippery when damp.

The club provides tennis for people across Stocksbridge, Deepcar, Penistone and Oughtibridge.

Membership has grown from zero to 135 people in 12 years and it is the main opportunity for all ages and abilities to play in the area.

The Save our Courts campaign has raised some money towards the resurfacing costs, with £15,000 saved by the club and a £15,000 loan offered by Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association.

But a further £15,000 is needed for the project to start.

Members will be taking part in a sponsored tennis rally on Sunday, February 3, and a quiz night at the Wortley Arms on Sunday, February 17.

Martin Jackson, club chairman, said: “Without resurfacing the courts, it’s uncertain the club can be sustained in the long run.

“Those who use the club are taking part in events to raise money themselves, but we still need help and donations.

“There is no alternative tennis club for several miles and without Stocksbridge Tennis Club a large area of one of the country’s biggest cities would be without tennis facilities.”

Dr Mark Atkin, a Stocksbridge GP who is backing the appeal, said: “At a time of cut backs in council sports facilities and the broader cutbacks in social services, community sports clubs have taken on an even more important role. ”

Anyone interested in offering sponsorship or donations of raffle prizes should call Mr Jackson on 07906 516 869.