Islington Tennis Centre and Gym, at Market Road N7, has unveiled its improved indoor tennis facilities, after an £80,000 investment from GLL, operator of public leisure facilities in Islington, under the Better brand. Working in partnership with Islington Council, the six new courts will help accommodate one of the largest tennis programmes in the UK, including extensive inner-city outreach to drive participation in tennis beyond its traditional demographic.
To officially open the new facilities, the team were joined by Councillor Janet Burgess MBE, Islington Council’s executive member for health and social care and Lily Mills, who trains at the centre and won gold in both the singles and doubles competitions at this year’s Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
The improvement programme has resulted in the installation of new surfaces on the courts - better suited to teaching and training - which will form an integral part of a programme that will increase participation throughout the whole community, from elite training of Middlesex County players, to community sessions, including female-only sessions, 50+ social sessions, bi-weekly wheelchair and visually impaired sessions, as well as NHS Mental Health tennis sessions.
The extended programme has also increased weekly course attendances from 305 in 2017, to over 850. In addition, coaches are delivering weekly sessions in 15 schools across the borough, reaching 1,300 children every week.
Joachim Treasurer, National Tennis Manager, said: “Opening the improved playing facilities at Islington Tennis Centre is the latest milestone on our journey to improve participation in tennis throughout the borough.
“As a social enterprise, GLL exists to provide affordable, accessible sport and leisure facilities, to get more people more active, more often. Being able to provide these outstanding facilities allows us to accommodate an extensive tennis programme which is open to the whole community.
“We are extremely proud of the progress made so far, and we are excited to continue developing our tennis programme throughout the borough to get more kids and adults enjoying playing all year round.”
Cllr Burgess said: “It was a pleasure to open the newly upgraded courts, which look great and will really help with teaching and training. It also means this centre remains as one of north London’s very best sporting facilities. It’s great to see GLL’s continued investment in Islington – our residents deserve nothing less.”
For more information on the tennis programme at Islington Tennis Centre & Gym, click here.