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Membership surge as Newark Tennis Club is ready to reopen

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Thriving Newark Tennis Club have been boosted by a surge in membership as they get ready to reopen their courts again later this month.

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic may have hit a number of sports clubs hard during the past 12 months.

But the London Road club have bucked the trend with a reduction in the price of their membership package also helping to swell their numbers.

Captain Sara Jackson.
Captain Sara Jackson.

They will be fielding 19 competitive sides in the coming campaign – the club usually has around six at their disposal – and have stretched their resources across two counties with teams now competing in both the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire leagues.

A popular inter-club singles event has also helped welcome new members of all abilities and integrate them within the tennis community.

Sara Jackson – who is their development officer, team manager and club captain – explained: “Our membership increased massively during the summer lockdown between June and July.

“Tennis was one of those outdoor sports that could continue and we did really well to attract new members.

“We reduced our membership prices significantly because of Covid and, because of how many people then joined the club, we have decided to retain that pricing for this year as well.

“We are just really glad now to be in a position where clubs can reopen again. It’s really exciting news for us.

“We have got a really enthusiastic membership with lots of people just wanting to get back on the court.

“They are really keen and eager, not just to get back playing again, but to also get back in that competitive spirit as well.

“We have branched out with our teams in the Lincolnshire League in addition to the Nottinghamshire League this season as well and, where historically we have had around six teams playing, we now have 19.

“Our singles league was successful last summer and, although the one we planned for winter wasn’t able to go ahead due to Covid-19, we are starting it back up again.

“It’s great for people to just get back down there and arrange a match which helps with the competitive spirit.

“You would normally only play at the club with the same people but, by setting up a singles league, you play against someone you might have never met before.

“It works so well because people then realise how much of a friendly club we are and they just want to get involved.

“We have also set up a WhatsApp group where people have kept in touch as well during the lockdown which has been really good.”

The club will be reopening on Monday, March 29, as part of the Government’s next stage in easing coronavirus restrictions.

While play was restricted to just singles matches during the summer, doubles contests can now take place while coaching sessions will also resume.

The club’s schedule will include junior coaching and cardio tennis on a Monday, adult social tennis on a Tuesday and Thursday night as well as Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings while there will be different groups of coaching for juniors and adults on a Saturday.

League matches will start in April with the club also planning on fielding competitive senior/veterans sides for the coming campaign.

Anyone wanting further information on the club’s membership can email secretary@newarktennisclub.co.uk or visit their website at www.clubspark.lta.org.uk/NewarkTennisClub

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