New facilities showcased as special event serves up a treat

Those who took part in the cardio-tennis demonstration with coach Gary Howe, kneeling left.

Those who took part in the cardio-tennis demonstration with coach Gary Howe, kneeling left. - Credit: Terry Reeve

Bungay's budding Andy Murrays and Roger Federers have new facilities to be proud of after refurbished tennis courts and a multi-use games area were unveiled.

Bungay Tennis Club served up a treat on Sunday at the grand reopening of the improved facilities at the Maltings Meadow.

Julia Waters, chairman of the Suffolk Lawn Tennis Association, cut a ribbon to mark the occasion, and praised the club and the Bungay and District Spirts Association for investing in the new improved 2G surface.

She said it was clear that "tennis was in good heart in Bungay."

Club chairman Juliet Whyte, who welcomed Julia said the new surface was laid in March but the coronavirus pandemic had delayed the official opening until now.

She said: “The new surface was funded by money from the building development across the road, and a democratic vote by the BDSA directors honoured a pledge for a diverse array of sports to be played at the Maltings."

The floodlit MUGA was originally opened in 2006.

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With the new resurfacing, the tennis club has taken over the management of the facility, and is also committed to organising a resurfacing fund for when another new surface is needed in 15 years time.

With the club coached by club coach Gary Howe and his daughter Kirsten, visitors enjoyed a drink and buffet and were able to watch an exhibition of cardio-tennis on Sunday that was led by Gary and enjoyed by more than 20 club members and juniors.

Club president Terry Reeve welcomed Stephen Law, Suffolk’s representative on the LTA council, and The Town Reeve of Bungay, Judy Cloke, who is also Bungay’s Suffolk county councillor.

He said the club’s commitment to raising £38,000 received a generous start from her predecessor, David Ritchie, who pledged £2,200 from his locality budget to cover the first year’s commitment.

He also thanked the seven commercial sponsors who have supported the project so far, and the private sponsors.

Chairman Juliet Whyte, a member since the club’s formation in 1970, was also thanked having been the backbone of the club, and treasurer Paul Cunningham, a member for almost as long.

Mr Reeve said: “The club is in a healthy state, as it has been for sometime, and that is thanks to these people and a small but enthusiastic committee.

“We aim to continue to develop and grow in the coming years.”