Membership numbers rise for Shropshire tennis clubs as newcomers encouraged to pick up a racket

Tennis clubs across Shropshire have seen membership numbers rise since the sport was given the green light to resume in May.

Simon Jones, the Tennis Shropshire chair, is impressed how the county's clubs have adjusted to working within the LTA guidelines regarding COVID-19. 

Courts around Shropshire are consistently busy, with an impressive number of newcomers to tennis enjoying the sport since deciding to pick up a racket.

Simon says: “From a club perspective, the large majority of Shropshire clubs are open and they are working within the LTA guidelines.

“Every club I’ve spoken to are all reporting a good influx of new members. 

"Some of these are people that are new to tennis and what's encouraging is there are quite a number of families in that group.

“A number of clubs are offering reduced membership because of the restrictions, so that’s also helped in attracting new people and keeping existing members.”   

The LTA’s Play Your Way campaign, introduced to encourage more people to play tennis, has proved a hit both locally and nationally.

“It’s been well received,” says Simon. “The LTA have also been holding a series of back to tennis webinars, which 19 out of 35 clubs within Shropshire have attended. 

“A number of local clubs have also signed up for LTA Rally, a nationwide tennis booking website which makes it easier for players to book courts online. It also allows clubs to introduce a pay and play option.

“The LTA have been fantastic all the way through this period with the financial support they have offered to clubs and to coaches.”

Simon adds: “There’s still restrictions in place with coaching groups limited to five players and one coach per court. 

"There’s still some restrictions on playing doubles, so it’s not all back to normal yet, but with further relaxing of these restrictions recently we are getting closer to getting back to normal - it’s just nice to see so many people enjoying playing tennis.” 

Pictured: Players enjoying tennis at Shrewsbury Lawn Tennis Club.