Coaches com­plete three peaks chal­lenge

Ten­nis club coaches en­joy a knock-about at the sum­mits of Ben Ne­vis, Snow­don and Scafell Pike

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Coaches from Ruther­glen Lawn Ten­nis Club have be­come the first peo­ple to play ten­nis at the peak of Bri­tain’s tallest moun­tains.

Jonny Will­cox, Cedric De­cuyper, Ja­cob Ja­cob and club pres­i­dent Gareth El­lor com­pleted the three peaks chal­lenge on June 5 by climb­ing to the top of Snow­don, Scafell Pike and Ben Ne­vis within 24 hours.

But in a twist to the usual gru­elling chal­lenge, the four men played a game of ten­nis at the top of each moun­tain.

Dubbed Ex­pe­di­tion Moun­ten­nis, the chal­lenge is a high­light of the ten­nis club’s Re­turnToS­plen­dour cam­paign, which aims to save the derelict ten­nis courts at Burn­side Bowl­ing Club.

Lo­cated around the cor­ner from Ruther­glen’s ex­ist­ing grounds, the Burn­side courts would al­low the ten­nis club to ex­pand and cater to the needs of its mem­ber­ship which has more than dou­bled in the past few years.

Tak­ing to the moun­tains to raise aware­ness of and cash for their plight, the four­some com­pleted their chal­lenge de­spite very hot con­di­tions.

Gareth said: “It was in­cred­i­bly hot so it was pretty gru­elling and ob­vi­ously we had to carry all our equip­ment as well.

“I think the main thing for us was see­ing the looks on peo­ple’s faces when we were set­ting up the ten­nis court.

“The re­ac­tion was amaz­ing and it was a lot of fun. Peo­ple were keen to have a shot and every­one got into the spirit of things.

“It was fan­tas­tic to see peo­ple hav­ing so much fun play­ing ten­nis in such unique and pic­turesque lo­ca­tions. The looks on their faces when they saw what we were do­ing and started set­ting-up each court was a real joy.”

Re­turnToS­plen­dour aims through fundrais­ing, ex­ist­ing club funds and grant ap­pli­ca­tions to raise the £200,000 nec­es­sary to com­plete the works at Burn­side. This in­cludes re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing ar­ti­fi­cial grass car­pet, re­plac­ing fenc­ing, up­grad­ing the flood­lights and build­ing a mod­est club­house.

Last week the club sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the im­prove­ments to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil and is urg­ing lo­cal res­i­dents to air their sup­port for the ini­tia­tive ei­ther via the lo­cal author­ity’s on­line plan­ning por­tal, or in writ­ing.

Should the plan­ning and fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tions be suc­cess­ful, Ruther­glen Lawn Ten­nis Club will be have a sev­en­court fa­cil­ity ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing an ex­pan­sive schools pro­gramme and dis­abil­ity ten­nis.

To date, the Moun­ten­nis climbers have raised £2,500 and peo­ple are able to do­nate to the cam­paign by log­ging on to www. go­fundme.com/rku­cuqk4. Half of the cash rased will be do­nated to Sport Re­lief, a na­tional char­ity that sup­ports com­mu­ni­ties in the UK and around the world.

Land­scape A pic­ture with a view

Peak An­other moun­tain chal­lenged

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