Conrad Brunner reports on Exciting developments at Hollingbury Park Tennis Club! Long serving player and chair Fiona Hayes is leading a brave group of volunteers to help the club revive their fortunes and restore their six tennis courts.
Fiona says: “In an effort to preserve the club both for its members and the local community, we have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £25,000 to resurface our courts. This is necessary as the council no longer have funds for any court maintenance and our courts were last resurfaced over 20 years ago.”
Located in lovely Hollingbury Park, replete with golf course, nursery school, magnificent allotments, and bang in front of two of Brighton’s biggest secondary schools (Varndean and Dorothy Stringer) this parks tennis club has fantastic potential.
For decades, Hollingbury were the number one parks club in the city. In the post-war era, they lorded it over their Parks League rivals, winning the Charles Beckett Shield, 16 times between 1946 and 1963. See here.
Recent years, however, have been tough on the tennis programme. Membership declined and the number of teams entered to the parks league as been reduced to just one.
“It would be terrific to see Hollingbury restored to full health and playing its full part in the Parks League,” says BHPLTA committee member Conrad Brunner.
“It’s great to see clubs like Dyke, Hove and Queens thriving and putting out lots of teams. Hove has six! But to maintain the right balance within the Parks League, we’d prefer to see broadly equal numbers across all Parks clubs. We need to look after all the clubs, and we’re painfully aware that some are really struggling to survive and put teams together. We hope that Hollingbury – with its six courts and glorious history – can show the way.”
Happily, the crowdfunding project has helped boost awareness, and Hollingbury club membership numbers are now rising.
If there are any members, or prospective members, who can lend a hand, that would be much appreciated. “It’s a bit of a one man band at the moment,” says Fiona.