Refurbished tennis courts serve up sporting opportunities
Published: 23 May 2023
Tennis courts at three Derby parks have been refurbished to improve facilities for citizens. Derby City Council is working with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) on the £87,000 project to ensure the courts remain available to the local community.
The tennis courts at Alvaston Park and King George V Playing Fields are now open following a full resurface with new paint and lines, new tennis nets and the introduction of an improved court booking procedure with gate-access systems.
At Markeaton Park, the tennis courts are currently closed while the courts are cleaned and repainted, they will re-open to the public in the coming weeks. The tennis courts at Darley Fields have remained opened throughout.
Alongside the investment, the Council will also be working with the LTA to develop a sustainable way to operate the tennis courts and deliver a range of activity across the park sites. The Council will be seeking a new park tennis provider to bring coaching opportunities for adults, juniors and families to enjoy tennis in the parks this year.
Later this summer there will be weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or their own racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition.
Duncan Cowie, Head of Climate and Environment for Derby City Council, said:
It’s really exciting to see these improvements to provide Derby communities with quality tennis facilities. We hope this will encourage people to pick up a racket and get out on court, whether they are experienced players or beginners.
There are free sessions available during the week, as well as free organised activities for all ages planned over the summer to make tennis accessible for everyone.
The new gate-access system technology has been piloted successfully for the past three years, and the evidence from sites across the country is that it increases participation because people can book a court online in advance and know it will definitely be available when they arrive.
It also means that free tennis sessions and coaching can be scheduled on the courts at specific times, and will also help reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
The refurbishment project is part of a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people. The investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country.
Park tennis courts are vital in providing opportunities for children and adults to get active, delivering significant physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits to participants. Accessible facilities in parks are particularly critical to opening up the sport to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and women and girls.
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
We are delighted to be working with Derby City Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active. This investment is part of the UK Government and LTA’s Parks Tennis Project, and will mean that courts will be available for people to use for years to come.
We will also be working closely with Derby City Council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court, and open up our sport to many more people.
All public tennis courts across Derby are available to book online via the LTA website, from £5.90 for an hour. Free sessions are available but must be booked in advance.