Sunday 25 February 2018 05:42:13 PM

Cloughey Tennis Club To Open New Courts
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Ulster’s top tennis players and Tennis Ireland join Cloughey and District Tennis Club Celebration Tournament at their new state-of-the-art courts.

Ulster’s top senior tennis players will try out the new state-of-the-art courts at Cloughey on the  Ards Peninsula, in a demonstration tournament on Saturday 14 October.

Jumping for joy at the opening of the new tennis courts in Cloughey.

Cloughy & District Tennis Club was established in 2008 by eight people who started playing tennis on the old tarmaced council courts in Cloughey. Today, it has over 100 members and is still growing. The Club was affiliated to Tennis Ireland in 2010. In 2013, the Club obtained its Clubmark status by Sport NI, being the eighth Club in Northern Ireland to do so. The Club provides a tennis coaching service to all local schools and helps the Council organise Parks Tennis week in the summer.

The club,  which draws its members from across the peninsula, from Portaferry to Newtownards, is celebrating the fantastic new facilities, provided by Ards and North Down Borough Council, which include a special new carpet surface that puts them amongst the best tennis courts in the country.

Ross Jenkinson, Cloughey, one of the Ulster U-16 top 10 player on the new courts at Cloughey.

Recent success in regional competitions is in part attributed to redevelopment of the courts earlier this year. The Club won the Belfast and District Juvenile Under-14 Girls league and was runners up in the Under-14 Boys. Club members and visitors, including some of Ireland’s top players, have commented that the courts are comfortable, even paced, and amazingly ‘good on the foot’ with wonderful grip.

“We planned these courts over four years, working closely with Ards and North Down Borough Council.  Many thanks to them for supporting us and realising our vision. It is wonderful to hear such positive comments from the tennis players of all levels who have played here,” said Alistair Dunn, Chairman of the Club.

One of the biggest supporters of the Club, the Mayor, Councillor Robert Adair, said: “Access to this great new recreation and sport facility will greatly benefit young and old on the Ards peninsula. The high quality of the courts will no doubt attract many in the area to stay playing tennis for their health, for competition and for fun”.

Richard Fahey, Chief Executive of Tennis Ireland added: “Tennis is a sport for life, whether you are 5 or 85. Remote coastal and rural communities are often disadvantaged and to have such wonderful facilities here is a testament to local people in promoting tennis. We congratulate Ards and North Down Borough Council and Cloughey and District Tennis Club for realizing this project.”

The centre piece of the development has been the ‘needlepunch’ carpet surface, manufactured by Playrite, a UK sports surface manufacturer. It was installed by John Campbell and Sons from Lisburn. The surface is neutral, being a medium speed surface, and ideally suited to the local climate. It is playable all year round. LED floodlighting allows play in the evenings during winter months with its superior illuminance and is also economical to run.

Everyone is invited to come along to view the showcase tennis “Tie Break 10’s” tournament, sponsored by Playrite, on the 14 October, with Ulster’s elite senior tennis players from 1.00 pm and into the afternoon.

This exciting format will be played for the first time in the Club. It is hoped that the tournament will feature on an annual basis.