New tennis courts will benefit whole community

Rob Sawyer, chair of strategy at Uppingham Ccommunity College, Robert Wills of The Falcon Hotel, and Richard Baker, non executive director of the Lawn Tennis Association at the opening of the new courts. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150914-105614001
Rob Sawyer, chair of strategy at Uppingham Ccommunity College, Robert Wills of The Falcon Hotel, and Richard Baker, non executive director of the Lawn Tennis Association at the opening of the new courts. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-150914-105614001
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Four new tennis courts have been opened in Uppingham, available for all to use.

Uppingham Community Tennis was opened at Uppingham Community College on Sunday.

The new courts were generously part-funded by the Lawn Tennis Association, The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham, Smith Eliot, Financial Management Limited, several private benefactors, as well as the school’s own funds.

The Lawn Tennis Association’s non-executive director and board member Richard Baker declared the courts open on Sunday, followed by a tennis exhibition by former Uppingham Community College pupil and star player Ana Webber, 17, who is currently training at Loughborough University before taking up a tennis scholarship in America. Ana played on Sunday with R2R Tennis coach Ralph Clarke.

Children and adult players were also given a taste of the coaching that is available and were invited to face Ana’s formidable serves as well as play fun games on the new courts.

Anyone from Uppingham and beyond is welcome to join coaching sessions, which will run in the evenings and at weekends for beginners and players of all abilities. The courts are also available for pay and play all year round at just £4 per hour or £8 per hour with floodlights.

Opening the courts, Mr Baker said: “I am as thrilled as everybody else is that these courts have been created. Projects like this are the future of tennis in this country. What you have done here is brilliant and the Lawn Tennis Association is very proud to support you.”

Rob Sawyer, the Uppingham Community College governor who has been leading the fundraising for new college facilities, added: “At UCC we believe totally that sport contributes to the personal development of young people.

“We are delighted that these courts have come to fruition and add to what is a community hub for sport for Uppingham and the nearby villages.

“We’d like to see the re-establishment of an Uppingham Tennis Club to be based here. We invite all local tennis players to come and take a look and talk to us about setting up a club.”

School principal Jan Turner said the aim was to provide high quality facilities to enable players of all abilities to enjoy the sport.

She added: “The creation of these courts would not have been possible without the support of private benefactors and we are very grateful to all of them, with their help we have secured this new resource of which we are very proud.”

For more details of how to book, and the courses available, e-mail Lewin_R@ucc.rutland.sch.uk or berridge_s@ucc.rutland.sch.uk.