Plans are in place for stylishly refurbished tennis courts in Shrewsbury to become a hub of the sport with coaching courses and the long-term creation of a community club at the site both on the agenda.
Partnership funding of just under £7,000 between the Lawn Tennis Association and Shrewsbury Town Council has impressively helped revamp three tennis courts at Monkmoor Recreation Centre.
They have been re-painted blue with new posts and nets added together with new lines, including junior markings on one of the courts.
“The long-term plan is to get as many as the local community involved and kick off some organised programmes,” said Bob Kerr, vice-chairman of Tennis Shropshire. “Who knows, it might hopefully lead to a community club similar to the one running successfully in Telford.
“The courts at Monkmoor used to be covered in moss and the lines were not really discernible, but there’s some investment been made and now they are great.”
Nigel Hunter, the programmes manager for inspire2coach who will be helping to promote tennis at the site, stressed he was excited at the prospects offered by the refurbished courts at Monkmoor.
He said: “It’s a really exciting venue, a great location, and having new courts like this it should become a hotbed of activity.
“We’re going to put on a few open events, do some free coaching activities, maybe a competition and from there discuss with the local public what they would like here on their courts.
“We provide all sorts of provisions for tennis so we’re experts in coaching and assisting clubs, and from talking to members and getting feedback, we’ll come up with what we think is a great option to get tennis moving forward in this area.”
Mike Cox, the outdoor recreation and asset manager for Shrewsbury Town Council, said the regeneration of the Monkmoor courts would not have been possible without the support of the Lawn Tennis Association.
“We couldn’t have done it without the help from the LTA,” he said. “But we’ve now got this super facility and we want to make use of it. We’re looking at working with the LTA, doing some development plans and getting some coaching activities here with a view to promoting the facilities.
“Let’s get people playing at Monkmoor with a view to also revamping the other courts that are in need of refurbishment. The courts look superb and when people become aware of the facilities they’ll be heading to Monkmoor to use them.”
The new-look courts were offically launched by the Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Miles Kenny, who said he was delighted with the impressive facilities being located in the heart of the Underdale ward he represents.
He added: “I’m so glad this has happened here and it’s of benefit to everyone in the town area and further afield. Tennis is an up and coming sport, certainly very popular.
“People used to rent keys to they could play at Monkmoor at any time, but now the courts are much improved they look great and it makes me want to have a go. It’s enticing and makes you want to take part.”
To book tennis or coaching sessions at Monkmoor Recreation Centre, contact Mike Cox at Shrewsbury Town Council on (01743) 257659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured, from left, are Nigel Hunter from inspire2coach, Mayoress Mrs Aurora Kenny, Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Miles Kenny, Bob Kerr, the vice chairman of Tennis Shropshire and Mike Cox from Shrewsbury Town Council at the official launch of the three refurbished tennis courts at Monkmoor Recreation Centre in Shrewsbury.