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Grant joy for Shropshire tennis club

By Charlotte Bentley | Bishop's Castle | Sport | Published:

A south Shropshire tennis club has received a grant from Sport England to help them meet unavoidable costs and a loss of income during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bishop's Castle Tennis Club in happier times

Like many rural clubs, Bishop's Castle Tennis Club is a lifeline for the local community and without them, many people would be left without a place to exercise and keep up playing their passion.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus and the consequent lockdown of sports clubs as of March 23, many in the sport and physical activity sector have faced a period of uncertainty.

Now, however, the club which serves many towns and villages in south Shropshire, has been awarded £1,800 of National Lottery funding from Sport England's Community Emergency Fund. This will go towards meeting ongoing costs and expenses and helping with a loss of income from normal memberships and tournaments.

The grant will also allow Bishop’s Castle Tennis to pay for the essential on-going maintenance of its three tennis courts and grounds and other fixed outgoings while the club is closed.

Gren Jackson, chair of Bishop’s Castle Tennis Club, said: "Our season starts at the beginning of April with our 60-plus members enjoying social tennis; competitive Shropshire League tennis which is suspended; and all types of tennis coaching from toddlers to retired adults and fun events to raise funds.

"Understandably, existing members, the majority of whom are over 60 years of age are wary of rejoining and the flow of new players has stopped completely.

"But the grass keeps growing and the courts need maintenance to prevent deterioration and greater expense later. This grant will help us meet this unavoidable costs and provide a basis for attracting members and ensuring tennis reaches even more people when we are told we can resume playing."

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Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s chief executive, said: "As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future.

"The £20 million community emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

"We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to help through these extremely challenging times."

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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