Tennis Shropshire’s Cathie Sabin Community Tennis Centre is to be officially opened next week.
Sandi Procter, who has followed Cathie in being appointed as the second female president of the Lawn Tennis Association, is heading to Shrewsbury to officially open the centre on Friday, April 21.
The two-court indoor centre, a large inflatable dome located on The Shrewsbury Club site at Sundorne Road, has been welcoming tennis players since last September.
Named in honour of Cathie, Shropshire’s inspirational former LTA president between 2014-16, who sadly passed away in May 2020, the centre’s courts are available to be be booked on a pay as you play basis.
The centre, which has been built and is operated by Tennis Shropshire, having been enabled by the generous support of The Shrewsbury Club, is also proving popular with local tennis clubs and community groups.
Now final preparations are being made for the centre’s official opening, which will be followed by a busy weekend of activities on April 22 and 23.
Tennis Shropshire chair Fiona Jones said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Sandi Procter and it’s very fitting as she knew Cathie well and has followed Cathie in becoming the second female president of the LTA.
“There’s lots planned across three days as we look forward to the official opening of the centre.
“Ahead of the official opening with Sandi, pupils from Shifnal’s Idsall School, where Cathie was a PE teacher for many years, will be playing tennis as the day’s guests arrive.
“After lunch and speeches, an exhibition match featuring surprise guests from the world of tennis will be played.”
Opportunity to play
All Shropshire tennis clubs have been invited to play at the centre on the following day, April 22.
A schools’ roadshow will be held at the centre on the morning on April 23, with an open event, which will give people an opportunity to play on its courts, taking place in the afternoon.
Bookings can be made online in advance, or people can just turn up, with free coaching also on offer.
Fiona added: “The Cathie Sabin Community Tennis Centre is a very important element of Tennis Shropshire’s plans for tennis in the county.
“To have another indoor facility in Shropshire that’s open to the public is tremendous, so we hope it will go a long way towards encouraging people to start to experience tennis.
“We also very much want to use it as a facility for groups and individuals who would not have naturally thought of themselves as tennis players.
“That includes people wanting to find an enjoyable, social way to keep active, as well as those with disabilities and long term conditions.
“We really want it to be a space for community tennis in its widest sense, enabling as many people as possible to experience the mental and physical health benefits which tennis offers. It’s a centre for everyone.
“The centre was originally the vision of Bob Kerr and he, along with Simon Jones, both former chairs of Tennis Shropshire, put in a lot of work, with the centre made possible by the support of The Shrewsbury Club in granting the land for it to be built.”
For more information about the Cathie Sabin Community Tennis Centre, including how to book courts, visit https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/CathieSabinCommunityTennisCentre
Pictured: Tennis Shropshire’s Cathie Sabin Community Tennis Centre.