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Final push to raise money to build tennis clubhouse

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A tennis club with more than 100 years of history is appealing to people to help it raise money to rebuild its clubhouse.

Horley Lawn Tennis Club needs £213,000 to demolish and rebuild its clubhouse to make it suitable for community use and enable it to run activities for disabled people.

It has secured grants including £50,000 from Sport England, £3,000 from the Gatwick Airport Community Trust as well as donations and loans from members.

With about £25,000 left to still raise, it is appealing to people for donations so it can start work by their deadline at the end of the month. That will mean the new clubhouse can be open for the summer season.

Gill Cox, chairman of the fundraising committee, has been involved in the project since it started in 2009.

She said: “We are still using the clubhouse but it’s not very nice and it’s not encouraging new members. We are not losing members in droves because there’s such a community spirit.

“The fact that members have dipped into their pockets for loans and donations shows they care about the club.

“People tend to come to us because we’re known as a family club.

“We have members aged from four or five up to 86 or 87. The oldest playing lady is 81 or 82.”

The club, which has seven courts, hopes the new clubhouse will enable more people to benefit from its community spirit.

Gill said: “It’s such a waste to have a clubhouse and just use it for tennis. We want to open it up to the community.

“Our hope is always to introduce them to the sport, but even if they don’t play they can take part in social events.

“It can be used for cubs, brownies and after school clubs. It will be open and available to those with physical disabilities.

“It’s part of our coaching programme to get our coaches trained in wheelchair tennis.

“We are just so close and all of us are getting jittery now because it’s been so hard.

“We are quite low priority with all fundraising that goes on for good causes. It’s been an uphill struggle.”

When the work starts the club will need storage for furniture it wants to keep and is asking for anyone to get in touch if they have a lock-up or storage area large enough for furniture including tables, chairs and umpires’ tables.

To make a donation or offer storage space when the work starts contact Gill on 020 70901717 or email her on daveandgillcox@sky.com

 

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