Tennis enthusiasts in Chipping Sodbury are celebrating the results of a £110,000 project to extend and refurbish the clubhouse at Sodbury Tennis Club, which has been completed just in time for the start of the summer tennis season.
Funded in part by a £34,500 grant from Enovert Community Trust (formerly Cory Environmental Trust in Britain), and a £15,000 from Ibstock Enovert Trust, the project has greatly improved the clubhouse building and its interior. Other funding partners included the Chipping Sodbury Townlands Charity and the Lawn Tennis Association, which provided an interest free loan.
The improvements have included refurbishing the existing clubhouse and extending its floor space by 50 per cent, which has created more usable open space. A cafe has been created, together with an enlarged kitchen and bar area, to improve social aspects of the club, while new windows, doors, improved insulation and accessibility improvements have also been installed.
Gordon Runcie, Vice Chairman of Sodbury Tennis Club, said: "We are extremely grateful to Enovert Community Trust for its generous donation, which has helped us to deliver a fantastic new tennis facility for the local community.
"We are actively trying to increase the numbers of women and girls, older people and those with disabilities who are members at the Club, and the new facilities provide a modern, welcoming atmosphere to encourage further membership growth, which will support the Government's initiative to get more people playing sport regularly."
In May 2018 the Club held its first 'Disabled Open Day' and invited several local disability groups to enjoy a friendly game of tennis.
Gordon continued: "Our Disabled Open Day was a first for Sodbury Tennis Club, made possible thanks to the accessibility improvements that have been carried our to the clubhouse. We had more than 40 disabled people come to try tennis during the Open Day, which was an amazing success, and we hope that many will go on to take up tennis."
Founded in 1954, Sodbury Tennis Club is located just north of Chipping Sodbury town centre, on the southern edge of The Ridings. With four floodlit artificial grass courts, which have recently been re-surfaced to a high standard, and a dedicated mini tennis court, the Club caters for social and competitive tennis enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. The purpose-built clubhouse has a licensed bar, catering facilities, changing rooms with shower and wash rooms, and has wheelchair access.
Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary at Enovert Community Trust, said: "The Trustees were delighted to contribute to this project, which has created an excellent facility that the whole community can enjoy."