Last week the South Devon Tennis Centre was joined by Ann Laity, Mayor of Ivybridge, and Cllr Victor Abbott from South Hams District Council, to celebrate the opening of their new outdoor courts.

Ribbon cutting at South Devon Tennis centre

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The rain stayed away and many visitors, members and their families were able to try the new courts.

Several families also visited the tennis centre with their young children who got to try mini tennis on the indoor courts as well.

In the evening, members of the club joined in a fun mixed tournament, and ended the day with a curry or a chilli.

Andy Copestick, Chairman of South Devon Tennis Centre said: "We have had a lovely day, seeing  the whole centre open with new people coming to try tennis for the first time, was just fantastic.

"We want people in the South Hams to see us as a facility that is open to all. You do not need to be paid members to use our courts, you can pay and play, or join one of our starter sessions such as Hit and Hopper, or Tennis for the Terrified.

"We love our sport and we want it to be open to all, so that more people can love it too."

Cllr Victor Abbott, South Hams Ward Member for Ivybridge East said: "Well these courts are really lovely.  It is a brand new surface providing an excellent opportunity for the members to play outside. There is a real improvement here thanks to the work the District Council have done."

Cllr Ann Laity, Mayor of Ivybridge said: "They are absolutely fantastic, I just wish I could play tennis. I know it has been here for about 20 years and in that time it has developed massively."

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, previously said: "I am so delighted that South Hams has a fantastic Tennis Centre like this. Ivybridge and the surrounding area are very lucky to have such a hard working tennis committee who work tirelessly to provide these facility.

"We have an arrangement with the Tennis Centre, where we lease them the land for the outdoor courts, and the money they pay in rent is put aside to enable us to renew the court surface when it is required.

"It is this kind of arrangement that enables us to provide such facilities. In fact, this is just the latest in a series of new facilities that South Hams are proud to have made possible in Ivybridge. The town now boasts a fantastic AstroTurf rugby pitch, four new outdoor tennis courts and, very soon, a fully refurbished leisure centre and swimming pool with a retractable roof."

The four tennis courts at The South Devon Tennis Centre in Ivybridge, were last resurfaced 12 years ago and following an inspection by the Lawn Tennis Association, it was found that they needed to be replaced.

This has now been made possible through the Centre's lease agreement with South Hams District Council.  The Council owns the land the courts are built on and leases it back to the Tennis Centre.  Earlier this year South Hams District Council agreed to pay for the courts to be resurfaced. 

The South Devon Tennis Centre in Ivybridge, which is run as a not-for-profit organisation, has four indoor courts, a café, a yoga/pilates room and now brand new outdoor floodlit courts.

For more information about tennis in Ivybridge visit: http://www.southdevontenniscentre.co.uk/

Issued: 2 October 2019