Tennis fans and Andy Murray wannabes in a north Suffolk village are celebrating after getting the tennis court they have been craving for years.
It has been a decade since Dennington Sport and Social Club’s tennis court was declared not fit for purpose, and“beyond repair”, with the surface breaching health and safety guidelines.
But now, after years of fundraising to get the cash required to build the £40,000 court, people living in Dennington and surrounding villages are once again able to enjoy a spot of tennis without having to travel several miles in the car for the pleasure.
Peter Archard, who sits on the sports and social club committee, said: “The original court was cracked and broken, and although the commitment to replacing it was made as long ago as ten years, there has been a big final fundraising push this year.
“There has been a very good take-up already, and there was a real clamour to get playing at Wimbledon time.”
Although games have already been played on the court, and the landscaping and gardening of the site is still to be completed, the court will be officially unveiled at 3pm this Saturday as part of the village’s fun day (see page 24 for what’s going on).
Cutting the ribbon will be Christine Truman Janes MBE. Mrs Truman Janes was the British junior champion in 1956 and 1957, and made her Wimbledon debut in 1957 at the age of 16. She reached the semifinals, where she lost to the eventual tournament winner, Althea Gibson - the first black athlete of either gender to ‘cross the colour line’ of international tennis.
The fun day - which coincides with the sports and social club’s 50th birthday - is part of the all-weather tennis court fundraising bid.
The committee still needs several thousand pounds in order to clear the bill.
An auction aimed at raising money for the cause, held last year, raised about £2,000.
The court is being considered as a north Suffolk amenity, rather than something exclusive to the 700 or so residents of Dennington. There has been interest from people living in Wilby and Laxfield, with the only other public tennis court nearby located at Framlingham College.
There is a small charge for those wanting to use the Dennington court, but the cash will go towards its upkeep.
For enquiries about membership at the club, call Avril on 01728 638686.