What a racket!

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page -

Kirkhill Lawn Ten­nis Club has been se­lected as the Re­former Club of the Week.

A surge in mem­ber­ship means the courts on White­field Av­enue are used daily and will con­tinue to be a real ben­e­fit to mem­bers as they stay open through­out the win­ter months.

The club has gone through many ups and downs with their mem­ber­ship, but the cur­rent peak of around 200 mem­bers seems to be a new high for Kirkhill.

The Re­former vis­ited the club in Cam­bus­lang to get the low-down on why they are do­ing so well and to find out a bit more of the his­tory sur­round­ing the pop­u­lar ten­nis hub.

This week’s Re­former Club of the Week is Kirkhill Lawn Ten­nis Club with sports re­porter Mur­ray Spooner.

Mem­ber­ships have been in­creas­ing at an ex­cit­ing rate down at the courts in Cam­bus­lang. So I de­cided to go along and see why busi­ness was boom­ing at Kirkhill.

Club pres­i­dent Jackie Clark was there to greet me and her hus­band Stu­art, who is one of three level five coaches in Scot­land, took me through a be­gin­ner’s les­son.

I was shown how to hold the racket with the cor­rect grip, how to serve and hit a cross-court fore­hand.

Straight­for­ward and fun, ten­nis is a sport that gives you a good runout with a com­pet­i­tive edge.

And, de­spite the cold weather, it was en­cour­ag­ing to hear that the club does not shut up shop for win­ter, as they play all year round on their all-weather sur­face un­der flood­lights.

Jackie then filled me in on how things were go­ing on and off the court.

Can you tell me about the club’s suc­cess both in the past and re­cently?

Our most re­cent suc­cess is our surge in mem­ber­ship. Largely due to our in­creased year-round coach­ing pro­gramme for chil­dren and adults.

Our ladies’first team had con­sid­er­able suc­cess re­cently with pro­mo­tion in the LTA league for the last two years in suc­ces­sion, and win­ning the group cup this year.

We have also in­creased our par­tic­i­pa­tion in team league ten­nis from two teams to 17 teams in the last two years which is also a great achieve­ment.

Tell me about the his­tory of the club?

The club cel­e­brated its 100th birth­day last year with lots of so­cial and ten­nis events for the public and mem­bers.

Kirkhill LTC started with more courts and a wooden club­house af­ter the ground was do­nated to the club and fundrais­ing lo­cally en­sured the blaes courts were in­stalled and are still there to this day.

The club has gone through many highs and lows with mem­ber­ship, how­ever, this cur­rent peak of around 200 mem­bers seems to be a new high in de­mand at the club.

How many day/nights is the club open?

The club is open every day from 7am un­til 10pm for ten­nis. Classes run usu­ally af­ter school hours from 3.30pm un­til 7.30pm Mon­day to Thurs­day for var­i­ous classes in­clud­ing pre-school, mini ten­nis classes and squad train­ing. Adults can en­joy begin­ners’classes, car­dio-ten­nis and im­prover groups.

What dif­fi­cul­ties does the club strug­gle to over­come?

The main dif­fi­culty at present is keep­ing up with de­mand for court time as the Scot­tish cli­mate does present prob­lems with any out­door sport. We are in the process of up­grad­ing our courts to more weather-re­li­able ver­sions and in­tro­duc­ing flood­lights to all our courts which should vastly in­crease our court avail­abil­ity and meet de­mand, how­ever, fund­ing is al­ways dif­fi­cult to se­cure for these projects.

Does the club ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity?

We ex­tend our coach­ing and are build­ing part­ner­ships with lo­cal schools, sports hub and ac­tive schools to reach more ten­nis par­tic­i­pants.

Have the club got any im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tions com­ing up?

We have some team ten­nis com­pe­ti­tions run­ning on Satur­days com­ing up in the next few weeks for ju­nior mem­bers to en­cour­age com­pet­i­tive ten­nis com­ing into the au­tumn and win­ter pe­riod.

How much work goes into run­ning the club?

We have an ac­tive com­mit­tee who run the ten­nis club and make sure that work is iden­ti­fied and dis­trib­uted to make the club run as smoothly as pos­si­ble. We have re­cently gone on­line with most of our pro­cess­ing in­clud­ing join­ing as a mem­ber which takes some of the leg­work out of the ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses.

Do you of­fer lessons for new mem­bers?

Any­one is wel­come to join in with our sched­uled lessons. We do, how­ever, of­fer dis­counts to mem­bers which does make our mem­ber­ship very good value .

Why should some­one join your club?

If any­one is look­ing for a very friendly, wel­com­ing, whole-fam­ily sport ex­pe­ri­ence then this is the club for you. Our mem­ber­ship is the best value for money in the area. A fam­ily mem­ber­ship for the year (April to March) is £200 for any adults and chil­dren liv­ing in the one house­hold. So for a fam­ily of four or more this makes seven-day-a-week ac­cess to sport less than £1 per per­son per week for as much ten­nis as you want.

We are of­fer­ing a half price mem­ber­ship cur­rently which can be ac­cessed on http://tinyurl.com/ hlj­wofr

Serv­ing up Stu­art takes Mur­ray through the steps to a per­fect serve

Kirkhill Mem­ber­ships have in­creased at the White­field Av­enue courts

Back in the day The Bach­e­lor Boys from the Kirkhill LTC who were the young team of the day

Ace Kirkhill girl takes it in her stride

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