The members-only club is a relaxed, family friendly club welcoming all standards of player wanting to play social tennis whether adults or juniors. The club is an LTA Registered Place to Play and we share the LTA’s mission and purpose: to “Get more people playing tennis more often” in order to enrich lives through tennis. The club was first established in 1959.
Stapleford Tennis Club is located in Stapleford, Cambridgeshire: a very pleasant village about 5 miles south of the centre of Cambridge. The two tennis courts occupy one corner of the village Recreation Ground, which itself is well used by various groups such as football clubs and cricket teams, as well as individuals whether they be jogging, walking the dog, attempting to wear out their children, or just getting some fresh air. The location address is: The Recreation Ground, Haverhill Road, STAPLEFORD, CB22 5BX.
There are two macadam courts which are not floodlit. Despite the lack of floodlights, we have active Members making good use of the courts all year round. Members have unlimited access to the courts, subject to our published Rules regarding specific designated sessions. Outside of these designated sessions, the club runs on a “Turn up and Play” basis, with access restricted to Members by a padlock.
We aim to promote tennis as a healthy and enjoyable activity for all ages and all abilities. In the past there have been weekly coaching sessions for younger children (KS1 and KS2) on Saturdays in the Summer term, and in 2016 we were delighted to add new Adult sessions to this programme. Sadly though there was insufficient take-up and Over & In had to cancel their programme. We have concluded that the coaching programme needs to remain on hold until the court surface is restored to a better state. In 2015 we also arranged for one of the Over & In coaches to facilitate our Monday night Club Sessions – something we hope to repeat in future, again once the court surface is restored.
Events have also also included some sessions available to non-Members: we’ve held Open Days as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend and other open sessions aimed at children, involving tennis-related games, which proved a popular addition to the village’s “Tour de Stapleford” weekend activities. Also, on some afternoons in July we give access to the Out of School Club’s children during their trips to the park – this was greatly appreciated by many of those children, who do not normally get to play on a proper court. We also surveyed our Members about their views of the club, and the summary of what this told us is published here. One clear message from the Survey was how much our members value having this facility close to home.
What plans for the future? For the investment needed in the courts and fences, we rely on the Parish Council to work with us. Read our report to them sent in April 2016. Our diligently accrued “sinking fund” is insufficient to replace the court surface on its own, and we are unable to access any of the many external grants that might be available because we do not have a long lease of at least 21 years; our current lease expires in July 2019 and the present Parish Council is reluctant to grant a long lease. Progress is slow in agreeing an alternative means of managing the facility; as of April 2018, still no firm decision has been made by the Parish Council, and our latest report to the Annual Parish Meeting aims to keep this on their agenda.