Linslade Tennis Club has served up an ace new purpose-built mini court and hitting wall with the help of a town council grant.
The tennis club has an ever-growing junior section, with a wide range of ages attending weekly coaching sessions, playing club matches as well as friendly tennis sessions.
It was keen to introduce the new facilities, so the announcement that Leighton-Linslade Town Council was launching its Youth Promise Grant fund, investing £150,000 in local youth groups, couldn’t have come a better time.
The tennis club was awarded £23,030 in April and successfully delivered the project in time to host their junior finals day (under 18’s) which took place earlier this month.
Cllr Steve Cotter, Chair of the Cultural and Economic Services Committee, a keen supporter of sports, went along to the event to see for himself the impact of the council’s investment and said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to see young people engaging in a sporting activity. As a Councillor, I am immensely proud of the investment the town council has been able to make of direct benefit to our young people.”
Over recent years, several of the club’s older juniors have completed Lawn Tennis Association training courses enabling them to start on the path to be a fully qualified LTA tennis coach. A number of the older Juniors are now going through that same process and will be able to support the two regular coaches, Sara and Debbie.
Club chairman, Richard Braithwaite, said: “The new mini court, along with a purpose built hitting wall, will greatly benefit our juniors of all ages, and this is something that could not have happened so quickly without the grant from the town council.
“It means that the club can accommodate even more juniors in the weekly sessions as well as those who attend our ever-popular Easter and Summer camps. Who knows, perhaps it will enable us to find the next Andy Murray or Johanna Konta?”
Leighton Buzzard Youth Netball Club has also received a grant of 9,146.65 from the fund recently.
Club representative Claire Bowen explained to councillors the club’s need to train more umpires to cope with club practice and competitions. Investing in club members includes the need for equipment as well as special skills masterclasses such as the one they ran in August with Mary Waya the ex-Malawi international player.
Claire explained how the club was expanding, entering more competitions and their aim for more boys as well as girls, to take up the sport.
Of the £150,000 fund, £120,458.34 has been awarded leaving £29,541.65 to apply for.