ASHBOURNE Tennis Club was given the honour last week of a visit from the Lawn Tennis Association’s new president, Cathie Sabin.
Sabin, who became the first female president in the LTA’s 125-year career in December, was keen to see Ashbourne’s new facilities in action and find out how and why the project has been a success.
The £190,000 facility next to the Peak Gateway Leisure Club in Ashbourne was funded in part by a grant of £56,000 – and a loan of a further £56,000 – from the LTA.
Almost a year after their official opening, the courts were in full use, with pupils from Osmaston Primary School taking part in a coaching session by club coaches, Mike James and Pete Leadbetter.
This was followed by an on-court appearance from Great Britain junior Victoria Allen, who started her tennis career at Ashbourne.
Sabin then saw a session of coaching of a group of the club’s adult ladies, and was delighted to see the courts in good use.
The club’s officials then met with the LTA President and Andy Bailey, the club’s vice-chairman, explained the reason behind the club’s success.
The club’s junior section was founded by Jenni Bull in March 2001 and has thrived from an original junior membership of 30, to now having 135 registered youngsters.
The new courts have also seen adult membership double in size to 80.