New tennis courts open

ROYSTON Tennis Club came home on Sunday when it held the opening of its new premises on Therfield Heath.

The club, which had been renting the courts at Meridian School, unveiled its six new floodlit courts and a log cabin clubhouse at the opening, attended by North Herts East MP Oliver Heald, Royston town Mayor Cllr Martin Beaver, and several other councilors.

The club was given �193,000 to pay for the floodlights by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), as part of the �300,000 needed for the whole project.

Club secretary Christine Knight said: “I am so proud of our club’s achievement and growth over the last seven years. The new courts at Therfield Heath will be a fantastic community asset for Royston and the surrounding areas.”

The courts, made of black tarmac with temporary lines, will help the club through their winter programme until next spring when the top green colour coating is laid and the project is completed.

Councillor Ian Knighton, North Hertfordshire District Council’s (NHDC) portfolio holder for leisure, said: “The Council is very pleased to have helped Royston Tennis Club with such an exciting project.

“The new courts will mean that players of all ages and abilities will be able to use the facilities, whether they are just having fun, keeping fit or reaching competitive levels. It is a real asset for the district.”

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Further significant grants were received for the project from Royston-based charity The Brian Leslie Racher Trust and Therfield and Meridian locality budget awards. The club also received a �23,000 grant from the NHDC to support its redevelopment.

It is hoped the courts will attract new players, and it is anticipated 300 people will use the courts each week.

Richard Lewis, Sport England’s chair, said: “The new floodlit courts at Royston Tennis Club will offer better playing facilities for its members and encourage more people from the local community to get involved in the sport.”

A further boost came for the club when Mrs Knight and head coach Matt Fellingham received awards last week.

Mrs Knight was named AEGON Volunteer of the Year for East England, while Mr Fellingham was given AEGON Coach of the Month for July.

“I am extremely surprised and delighted to be awarded with one of the LTA’s Volunteer of the Year awards,” said Mrs Knight.

“I have never won an award before and on top of that I got to go to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals to receive it.”