We’ve had an incredible few years at Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club which have seen us successfully integrate our wonderful new Burnside facility into the wider club and use this as a spring-board to further expand and develop to offer even more opportunities to our members and the communities we serve. Here are a few highlights:
- We now have over 350 members which is incredible given that we had less than 100 only 7 years ago.
- We have more teams competing and at a higher level than at any point in our near 100 year history.
- We are working closely with more than ten local primary schools to provide FREE tennis to hundreds of children, many from some of the most deprived areas of Glasgow.
- We won the Tennis Scotland Club Of The Year Award in 2017 for the second straight year – the first club every to do so – largely due to our efforts to save Burnside’s tennis courts and integrate them into our club creating a wonderful 7-cout facility.
- Our Head Coach Jonny Willcox was crowned British Tennis Coach of the Year in 2017.
- We have 5 juniors training and competing at national level. Our top junior is No.1 in Scotland for his age ground and top five in Great Britain.
However, this growth and success gives us another major headache. Our small, ageing clubhouse at our Viewpark facility is no longer fit for purpose.
We’ve completely transformed ourselves from a small, sleepy club, primarily used recreationally during spring/summer/autumn by members living local to the courts, into one of the most innovative and dynamic clubs in Scotland. We now attract members from all over the West of Scotland due to our first class coaching programme, fantastic courts and our reputation for being welcoming and inclusive to all ages and abilities and providing a wide range of opportunities.
There is now an urgent need to provide a clubhouse that meets the needs of our new membership demographic and standing within the Scottish tennis community:
- Our members need somewhere to shower and change after playing. We currently only have one shower in a mixed, accessible changing area and we have no hot water in our gents toilets.
- Our members need somewhere where they can socialise with other members. We are no longer a club where our members pop round the corner for a game before going straight home. We are now a destination where people travel significant distances to play, spectate, socialise etc.
- Our coaching team need a storeroom and office to run their expansive programme.
- Our passionate and committed club volunteers need a space to work, store tools, supplies, equipment, information etc.
- With only one public space, whenever we use this for a specific purpose, function, event, etc. the entire clubhouse is out of action to the wider membership. This poses greater and greater logistical challenges as we continue to grow and expand, for example:
- Our committee and various working groups need somewhere to meet without impacting on the wider membership.
- We need somewhere to host away teams for the traditional post-match tea without impacting on the wider membership.
- We make our clubhouse available free of charge to the local community group to host their monthly public meetings. Whenever these meetings are taking place our members cannot use the clubhouse.
- With our membership more than trebling, we need a much bigger space to accommodate them.
- We now run competitions for all ages and abilities, including top-class tournaments. These attract lots of spectators and we need a bigger space and better facilities to host them, which offers great views out over the courts.
- Our current clubhouse is too small to run any indoor activities. Whilst our members and coaching team are a very hardy bunch, playing in all weathers and conditions, there are times when the courts are just not playable. With a larger public space, we could run mini-tennis classes indoors as well as fitness and strength and conditioning sessions. This extra space would be of enormous benefit in providing continuity during adverse weather.
- We need a clubhouse that can provide a warm, secure space for our members and the community to enjoy on a continuous and environmentally sustainable basis. The existing building is not insulated and has a very inefficient and environmentally unfriendly heating system. It is simply not designed to operate as the busy, continuously occupied public space that it has now become.
In short, our existing clubhouse is limiting what we currently do for our members and the communities we serve and their enjoyment of the club. We have many more ideas to expand and develop as a club, and the enthusiasm and commitment to see these through, but without this extra space this simply cannot be achieved.
The need for this new facility stretches way beyond our membership. There is a dearth of public spaces within the local community which groups can use – unfortunately we have to regularly turn-down requests from very worthy causes. With an expanded facility we can offer space to such groups, further expanding the community links which have been a key ingredient of our success to date.
We’re thrilled that our Planning Application for a new two-storey clubhouse to replace the existing building has been approved by South Lanarkshire Council, so we can now crack-on with the fundraising effort safe in the knowledge that if we can secure the money required we can build our new home.