With Wimbledon underway, three new pay-and-play outdoor tennis courts have opened in Victoria Park, Deal thanks to investment by Dover District Council and a £5,500 grant from the LTA, the governing body for tennis in Great Britain.
The three courts will be LTA registered venues for ‘Clubspark’ a seamless system that integrates online court bookings through the LTA Rally digital platform and provides players with coded entry to the court via a ‘smart’ gate.
At the same time, the three courts have been completely refurbished by Dover District Council (DDC) with new surfacing, robust fencing, nets, and court markings.
Your Leisure will operate, manage, and maintain the outdoor tennis courts, enabling them to further develop links with the LTA registered Deal Indoor Tennis Centre. The new gate access systems will also allow Dover District Council to better regulate and track usage of tennis courts and help make it more straightforward for participants to play the sport. The project forms part of the LTA’s nationwide strategy to make tennis facilities more accessible, and to drive participation by making the journey to court easier.
Cllr Oliver Richardson, cabinet member for Community, Environment and Corporate Property , said: “The tennis facilities at Deal are a major asset to the community and have always been popular with residents across the district.
“It is the council’s priority to ensure good quality outdoor spaces are accessible for everyone to enjoy and we are pleased to be able to use the Section 106 money to refurbish these courts and bring them back to life for regular use by the community.
“Thanks to the generous contribution from the LTA, we have been able to install the ClubSpark SmartAccess gate system which will provide better access and introduce tennis to as many people as possible.”
John Golding, LTA Head of Region for London and South East Region, said: "It is great to see the installation of new gate access systems at Victoria Park, Deal completed. Alongside LTA Rally, it helps to overcome what we know is one of the biggest barriers people experience in wanting to play tennis in easily finding and booking a court. In other areas where we have seen gate access technology introduced, participants have found the journey to court much easier, and we have also seen significant increases in usage. We hope the new systems will encourage more and more people within the Dover District to get active through tennis, regardless of their age, background, ability or disability. The LTA’s vision is to open up tennis and its benefits to more people, and this project forms part of our nationwide facility investment strategy which is designed to do just that.”
Gavid Vickers, Head of Leisure Services for Your Leisure, said; “We now have a real opportunity to help improve the health and well-being of the people of Deal through the power of tennis. Tennis is a uniquely social sport that is a hobby for life and enables people of all ages to maintain a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle. Your Leisure is proud to be working with Dover District Council on this latest project and is excited to support the council with its drive to improve local sports and leisure facilities.”
The courts can be booked online at www.lta.org.uk/rally and via the same direct link on both the DDC and Tides Leisure Centre websites.
Posted on 28 June 2021