TENNIS in Clapham received a substantial boost today after the new tennis facilities at Clapham Common were unveiled thanks to a major £250,000 grant from Lambeth Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), with support from Sport England.
To mark the unveiling, local MP, Kate Hoey. and representatives from Lambeth Council joined local school children at the redeveloped tennis park site in London where the pupils enjoyed a tennis session with Marin Cilic, the world number 12 from Croatia as well as British number one doubles pair Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski who are all in London ahead of the AEGON Championships
The project was completed after Clapham Common received the funding to refurbish eight courts and provide modernised floodlights to dramatically improve the tennis offering at one London’s most popular open air spaces and enhance access tennis opportunities for the local community.
Lambeth Council, which manages the facility, received nearly £100,000 from the LTA to help improve playing opportunities for the local community, with the council contributing around £150,000. The funding from the LTA is part of the LTA’s drive to get more people – of all ages and abilities – playing the game.
Speaking after the opening, Derek Prentice, head of Sport and Recreation on Lambeth Council, said: “Clapham Common now has some of the best facilities around thanks to this investment, and I’m delighted that Marin Cilic, Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, have taken time out of their busy training schedules to come and pass on tips to some of our Lambeth school children.
“One thing is certain; this investment means thousands of people in Lambeth now have access to public tennis courts that meet the highest national standards. Helping people lead active lives by making sure they have access to top sports quality facilities is one of the council’s main priorities, so it’s great to see these fantastic courts officially open and being used by so many people.”
Roger Draper, LTA chief executive, added:
“We’re committed to expanding opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to play tennis, and investment in parks is a key part of that drive.
“Thanks to the support of Sport England, the LTA is delighted to have invested in Clapham Common and we look forward to working with Lambeth Council and our partners the Tennis Foundation to further develop tennis in this part of London in the future.
“Tennis is already one a thriving, growing sport, but working with Sport England, AEGON and local and national partners, we’re committed to making it even bigger.”
Richard Lewis, Sport England’s chair, said:
“It’s vital that public funding for sport goes into facilities that meet the highest standards, are welcoming, and cater for everyone.
“That’s how we’re going to get more people using them every day. The refurbishment and floodlighting project at Clapham Common will offer brand new all weather courts that meet the demand of the modern game whilst offering the local community some of the very best sporting opportunities available.”
The funding has been provided as part of British Tennis’ Places to Play strategy which has received substantial investment from Sport England through its Whole Sport Plan funding for tennis.
This makes a crucial contribution to tennis’ drive to increase the opportunities for people to participate, compete and get access to coaching at all levels of the game in communities nationwide.
The LTA makes financial support available through its resources and ensures investments will deliver the maximum return for British tennis through more people playing and more hours on the court across Britain.
Its investment will increase the number and standard of facilities nationwide which will be available to the whole community at a reasonable, affordable cost.
For more information please contact:
* James Munro, LTA head of Media: James.Munro@lta.org.uk 0208 487 7118 / 07957 959 340
* James Savours, London Borough of Lambeth, Press Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> / 020 7926 2559
Notes to Editors
The total costs of the redevelopment will be around £250,000: the LTA has contributed £99,385 with Lambert Council contributing the remainder.
Sport England is a major investor in British Tennis through the LTA, supporting its work to increase and sustain participation, identify and develop talent. Sport England’s funding for tennis is through the LTA’s Whole Sport Plan for British Tennis, an investment of £26.8 million over the period 2009/10 – 2012/13, including £15.4 million in facilities improvements.
Improving places to play is a major priority for British Tennis. All clubs receiving investment are required to be Tennis Clubmark accredited, or working towards Tennis Clubmark, and are required to demonstrate increases in participation as a result of the investment.
Lambeth Council has made major investments in sports facilities over the past few years as the country prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Investment has included £2.85 million spent improving Brixton Recreation Centre in 2006, £1.2 million on a range of new facilities at Kennington Park in 2007 including a new multi-use games area (Muga), improved the astro-turf pitch and upgraded the tennis and netballs courts.
The council has also worked with the NBA to improve basketball facilities on Clapham and attracted investment for a new Muga in Knight’s Hill.
Work began last month on a brand new leisure centre in Clapham that is scheduled to open in late 2011.
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