Ten­nis hope for Burn­side

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Burn­side ten­nis courts could re­turn to com­mu­nity use.

Ruther­glen Lawn Ten­nis Club have con­firmed they will lease the fa­cil­ity from Burn­side Bowl­ing Club.

They now have 18 months to fund the project.

Ruther­glen Lawn Ten­nis Club (RLTC) have launched a com­mu­nity and so­cial me­dia cam­paign to try and save the courts at the old Burn­side Ten­nis Club.

The club con­firmed this week they had agreed to lease the courts from Burn­side Bowl­ing Club as they try to bring them back into com­mu­nity use.

The Re­former re­ported in April this year that the bowl­ing club, an as­so­ciate of the ten­nis fa­cil­ity, had taken the de­ci­sion to close the courts af­ter they fell into dis­re­pair and mem­ber­ship dipped.

RLTC hope to ab­sorb the courts into an ex­panded fa­cil­ity, op­er­at­ing as a sin­gle, fully-in­te­grated, seven court club.

How­ever, the lease will only go live once the funds are in place to up­grade the courts to the same stan­dard as the courts at RLTC’s base on View­park Drive.

They hope to raise the money through a com­bi­na­tion of ex­ist­ing RLTC funds, grants and a loan, topped up by fundrais­ing.

The so­cial me­dia cam­paign will use the hash­tag # Re­turnToS­plen­dour and a project web­site has be launched at www.Re­turnToS­plen­dour.net pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Fly­ers will be de­liv­ered to lo­cals house­holds, lo­cal busi­nesses will be ap­proached to help out and former mem­bers of BTC will be ap­proached en­cour­ag­ing them to get in­volved.

RLTC, who have seen their mem­ber­ship rise from 100 to 230 in five years, will also make a pre­sen­ta­tion at the next meet­ing of the Burn­side Com­mu­nity Coun­cil on Novem­ber 4.

Gareth El­lor, pres­i­dent of RLTC, said the project “will give us the ex­tra space we so badly need to ac­com­mo­date our fast grow­ing mem­ber­ship and al­low us to use our tried and tested recipe to fur­ther in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion, whilst se­cur­ing the long-term fu­ture of this much-loved lo­cal fa­cil­ity, ben­e­fit­ting the wider com­mu­nity.”

Formed in the 1920s, at its peak in the 1980s Burn­side had up to 150 mem­bers and played in the top divi­sion of Scot­tish Ten­nis’s gents’ com­pe­ti­tion.

It was seen as a trail­blazer, be­com­ing one of the first in Scot­land to em­brace all­weather courts as well as flood­lights.

But when it was closed this year, the num­ber of mem­bers was be­lieved to be in sin­gle fig­ures.

Gareth added: “For us, there is much more to this project than money.

“We want to win the hearts and minds of the lo­cal com­mu­nity by work­ing to save th­ese courts in a way that ben­e­fits ev­ery­one, whilst re­spect­ing and re­mem­ber­ing the proud his­tory of Burn­side Ten­nis Club.”

No ball games But Burn­side ten­nis courts could be brought back into com­mu­nity use

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