Swindon could be serving up the next Andy Murray or Johanna Konta, as participation in Tennis soars within the town, according to the latest figures from Better’s Delta Centre in Welton Road.
Staff believe a combination of Britain’s success at the 2016 Olympics combined with a major overhaul of facilities at the centre has led to interest in the sport booming. Numbers taking part in the popular weekly Tennis Programme – which offers regular group lessons – have increased by 240% over the past 18 months and stand at 400. With the centre now hosting over 50,000 annual visits to its courts.
The Tennis Centre boasts four indoor and three outdoor floodlit courts, meaning it’s possible to play year round. Over the past 12 months £70,000 has been spent on resurfacing the outdoor porous tarmacadam courts and a further £70,000 invested in new lighting for the indoor courts. The programme of tennis activities has also been significantly expanded and now includes everything from basic court hire, to individual coaching, competitions, tennis leagues and a ‘Tennis for Kids’ initiative.
The Delta Centre is also piloting a national first, with its new Tennis Apprenticeship Scheme. This unique initiative offers apprentices the chance to earn the national Living Wage, learn more about both the sport and its delivery, but also key business skills – preparing them for a long-term career within tennis.
Commenting on the town’s growing interest in the sport, Andrew Sutherland, Tennis Manager at Better’s Delta Centre said: “The growth in interest in tennis within Swindon over the past 12 months has been phenomenal and has come from all quarters. We’re now providing everything from tots lessons to elite coaching and competitions for performance players.
“Tennis is a fantastic, year-round sport that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of age or fitness level. It’s also really social and a great way to meet and keep up with friends while keeping fit and active.”
For more information on tennis at Better’s Delta Centre visit: http://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/swindon