Portsmouth enjoying tennis boom as thousands sign up to play

Tristan Oliver, seven, with, far right, Simon Johnson, LTA head of region for the south west and Cllr Linda Symes
Tristan Oliver, seven, with, far right, Simon Johnson, LTA head of region for the south west and Cllr Linda Symes
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TENNIS is enjoying an unparalleled boom in Portsmouth due to the multimillionpound upgrade in facilities.

Over 7,600 players have now registered in the city and membership of public parks and clubs has quadrupled in the last four years.

Bill Alderman, left, Julian Davis

Bill Alderman, left, Julian Davis

The city’s tennis players have received a number of boosts over the last few years through the indoor tennis centre in Stamshaw in 2014 and the Aegon Southsea Trophy at Canoe Lake earlier this summer.

Facilities at Southsea Tennis Club were improved to host the tournament and improvements have also been made at Drayton Park and Milton Park to boost the popularity of the sport.

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture at the city council, enjoyed a game on the refurbished courts at Milton on Wednesday.

She said: ‘We are very proud that the vast improvements to our grass-roots facilities have been so popular with our residents across Portsmouth.

We are very proud that the vast improvements to our grass roots facilities have been so popular with our residents across Portsmouth

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture

‘It goes to show what a real partnership between the LTA and local government and other key local partners can achieve for tennis enthusiasts, whether they have played for years or are just discovering the sport.’

Tennis player Julian Davis, 62, from Southsea, plays the sport at Milton Park every Wednesday morning.

He said: ‘I enjoyed tennis when I was at school, so it has been great to pick up a racquet again later in life and play. There are a few of us who play together here. It is a fun thing to do, gets us all of our of our houses and keeps us active.’

The LTA is offering £125m of funding for clubs and authorities to boost new facilities.

Paul Bennett with his son Jake, 10

Paul Bennett with his son Jake, 10

More information on how to bid is at lta.org.uk/TBTT.