Alderley Edge Tennis Club formally opened their new artificial clay courts, which have been two years in the making, on Sunday, 24th March.
The project was driven by the enthusiasm and generosity of club members who raised 40 per cent of the £400,000 costs, which has been spent on transforming the club's largely redundant grass courts into five new artificial clay courts and five new sets of floodlights.
Over 400 people turned out to support the event which commenced with the inaugural Alderley Edge Schools Tournament which saw five local schools and ten teams participating. The Ryleys School won the 'Under 9s' tournament and Alderley Edge Community Primary won the 'Under 11s' tournament.
Over 50 children aged 3 to 18 participated in free coaching sessions whilst 18 pairs competed in a family tournament. The event, which was for children under 10 paired up with a family member over 18, saw lots of hard fought rallies with close games and the eventual winners were Louis and Richard Brierley and the runners up were Hugo and Howard Thompson.
Prior to the Open Day the club ran a children's competition, asking them 'Why is Alderley Edge Tennis Club such a great place to play tennis?'. After much deliberation Zara Baglin and Lily Hardcastle were chosen. Both of whom received Easter eggs for their entries with Lily was selected as the overall winner to cut the ribbon alongside an adult member of the club
The formal opening of the courts then took place with Lily joined by Jan Slack, who has been a member of the club for over 50 years, who together cut two ribbons. The formal opening was followed by some exhibition matches.
Ruth Samuels (Courts Project Lead) said "We were lucky enough to have David Quayle aged 18, who now tours on the international circuit, playing a singles match against Nick Baglin who in his younger years played at junior Wimbledon. A fabulous spectacle ensued played in great spirit with the eventual win going to David.
"We also had two doubles matches played – Maldini Simic and Ed Rowlands played against Mason Dace and Mike Armstrong. Maldini and Mason are both in the under 18 county squads despite only being 15 years of age. Some lovely rallies and again great fun to watch. Ed and Mike then joined Nick and David to play some lovely men's doubles tennis."
The day then ended with a fun mixed handicap tournament involving both 44 adults and juniors playing on 8 full size courts.