New club owner prioritises sports offering at Heywood

Diss, Norfolk. Tom Bobbins new owner of the Heywood Sports and Racquet club
Diss, Norfolk. Tom Bobbins new owner of the Heywood Sports and Racquet club

Keen sportsman and new owner of the Heywood Sports and Racquet Club in Diss, Tom Bobbins has said he will put sports facilities back at the forefront of the club’s offering.

The 32-year-old Diss entrepreneur and qualified squash coach, who took over the club on December 21 in partnership with his father Ken Bobbins, has no plans to take forward a project by previous owner Chris Burnard for a bowling alley, cafe and cinema.

Mr Burnard, who ran the club with his partner Morag for over four years, was unable to secure funding for the £700,000 project and decided it was time for a fresh approach from a new owner. He now plans to concentrate on his other businesses - the Greyhound pub in Botesdale and the George and Dragon at East Harling.

Mr Bobbins told the Diss Express: “I’ve been a member at the club for donkeys years and am a keen squash player, have run marathons and generally like sports. I felt the sports element - the squash and tennis - had been under decline.”

His previous business experience includes running Colegate Vehicle Hire on Victoria Road with his father, selling the company in 2005.

Mr Bobbins hopes to substantially build the membership and has already carried out major refurbishment of the squash courts, expanded and refurbished the men’s changing area and redecorated. He also plans to improve the club’s tennis courts which he feels are under-used, and is in talks with EA Tennis to bring their south Norfolk coaching programme to be based at the Heywood club.

Facilities at the club also include cardio and weights gyms, a bar area which can be hired, and classes in zumba, spinning, dancercise and circuit training, as well as ballet classes for children,

The club will be re-launched on February 2.