Gainsborough Town Tennis Club hoping for traditional Wimbledon boost from Andy Murray and co

Gainsborough Tennis Club officially opened their newly re-surfaced hard courts at the weekend.  Lifetime supporters,Rita and Norman Antcliff (pictured) cut the ribbon watched by members of the club.
Gainsborough Tennis Club officially opened their newly re-surfaced hard courts at the weekend. Lifetime supporters,Rita and Norman Antcliff (pictured) cut the ribbon watched by members of the club.
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Gainsborough Town Tennis Club are hoping their traditional Wimbledon-inspired rise in membership numbers continues.

Every year the club sees a spike in the town’s level of interest in the sport, while Andy Murray and co are battling it out at the All-England Club.

Once newcomers sign up for the club on Corringham Road, chairman Phil Green believes there’s so much going on that chances are they’ll be hooked.

He’s been involved for 15 years, and is proud of what the club offers players of all ages and abilities in 2015.

He said: “For me, tennis is a very sociable sport, and it’s very competitive.

“You get to meet new people, travel to play against other clubs and enjoy the social side of it.

“And then there’s the rush of adrenaline you get when you cross the line onto the court, and when you go a game or two up.”

Gainsborough has three teams in the local evening league, and two in the county league.

They also have a junior section which benefits from the experience of LTA senior coach Tim Taylor.

But Green would like to grow the numbers of youngsters picking up a tennis raquet.

“We have a coaching scheme and I’ve noticed that some of the children who enrolled a few years ago are still there, training each week.

“There’s probably 15 juniors at the moment, but in a town the size of Gainsborough, it’s a relatively small number.

“We have had one or two schools come down to use the facility, but it’s not high on the agenda with many schools – they always focus on football or cricket in the summer.”

Regardless of the current numbers, Green is enthused by what he sees in the crop of juniors learning under Taylor.

“We have some really good young players, we might even have a future star in the making,” he said.

“In previous years we’ve had some go through to major tournaments, playing at Junior Wimbledon, but nothing in recent times.

“I’m keeping an eye on these players, the future looks bright if they stick at it.”

And he’s hopeful that complete newcomers to the sport, who might be watching Wimbledon this summer, will soon swell the ranks.

“We’re slightly down on numbers on last year, and the year before, but traditionally we tend to get a lot of interest during Wimbledon.”

Any new members, junior or senior, will not only enjoy coaching from a man who has played with Björn Borg, but the use of three grass coursts and three recently refurbished hard courts.

Green said: “We’re the only club with grass courts in North Lincolnshire, it’s an attraction for juniors and seniors – they prefer to play on grass courts.

“We offer a discount for juniors and parents joining, with a £20 joining fee for the whole year for the junior, and £20 for the parent.

“We all come together on our club nights, from beginners to regular players and any senior who wants coaching can see Tim.