On a beautiful Spring afternoon past and present members of Cheddar Tennis Club gathered to celebrate the official opening of the newly carpeted Match Play 2 courts at Sharpham Road.
After introductory remarks from the club’s new chairman Sarah Strawbridge, Cheddar Parish Council’s chairman Peter Colton was invited to cut the ribbon. On behalf of the Council he congratulated the thriving club on its continued progressive and forward-thinking approach in keeping the facilities up to date and commented that the new courts are a real asset for the club going in to the future.
All those present were then invited to try out the new surface and all four courts buzzed with friendly play and positive comments as some competitive matches ensued.
Tea and cake were then taken in the clubhouse rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
The club will be holding open days on Sundays 12th May and 7th July for anyone interested in trying out the new courts.
Jennie Colton, who was the first winner of the award at its inception in 2007, retires after five years as chair and 25 years as secretary at the club.
In that time, she has been involved with the move from the Barrows Road courts to the Sharpham Road facilities, the erection of a new clubhouse and installation of new carpeted courts.
Members are delighted that she has agreed to continue to serve on the committee in a general capacity.
Club president Joan May said: “Her dedication, commitment and passion for the club has been truly amazing.”
The club held a successful fund-raising event, featuring a Thai supper and live music from the Funky Dillies, with Colton receiving a commemorative photo book covering her many years of involvement as player and committee member.
Local firm CRS Building Supplies Ltd of Cheddar have kindly supplied wood for coat hooks and benches to enhance the beautiful newly carpeted courts at Cheddar Tennis Club.
The new furniture which was generously made by a local carpenter were unveiled on a sunny winter’s afternoon when Steve Nicholls (seated) from CRS joined members for a fun afternoon of tennis and refreshments.
Work has now been completed to install the new courts and they are ready to play on. At present there is a fair amount of sand on the surface, this will disappear into the carpet structure once it is dry and the courts are played on. It could take 3 months for the surface to properly settle, but will be a good playing surface long before that. First impressions have been very positive despite the sand and members have said that they find them easier on knees and ankles etc. Hopefully everyone will go and try them out, it has been a major expense for the club, and hopefully one that will become a real asset for the club going into the future.
Cheddar Tennis Club will be having their courts resurfaced with Matchplay 2 in the coming weeks. Below is a summary of what Matchplay 2 is and its advantages as a playing surface.
Matchplay2 is an artificial surface, but it is quite different to the ‘astro’ surface that a lot of other clubs have. Instead of having a pile it is more like a woven carpet. This means that there is less sand, consequently there is much better grip and maintenance is less, it is also porous and drains better as it doesn’t have a backing material. The surface is literally laid on top of our existing courts and held in place with special sand. There are a number of clubs in the area that have now installed this surface which originated in the NE and is claimed to be popular around London. The feedback from these clubs has been very positive, club members have really liked it and it has probably served (excuse the pun) to encourage more court play, they have also found it to be kinder on the joints! Nearly all the committee members, and some others, have been over to Lympsham to play on the surface and have generally liked it. The indications are that the surface is long lasting and would probably outlive a hard court surface. The surface is medium paced and balls tend to bounce a bit lower. Whilst this might not suit all styles of play it is expected that players should be able to adapt to it quite quickly. You may think that all this is going to come at a cost, but it is not much dearer than resurfacing the hard courts with Macadam and because Matchplay2 doesn’t have to be repainted at year 5-7 or pressure cleaned every 2 years it actually works out cheaper over a 10 year period and should last longer in any case.