We passionately believe that tennis should be accessible to everyone. We also recognise, through bitter experience, that the Scottish climate inhibits the growth and development of our sport. We lose around 3-4 weeks every year due to frost/snow. Whilst the majority of our members are a hardy bunch who’ll play whenever the courts are playable, it’s impossible to quantify how many hours of play are missed through people being put-off by inclement weather. We therefore strongly believe that quality, affordable indoor facilities are essential if we want to establish tennis as a mass participation sport and grow tomorrow’s champions.
We want to meet these challenges head-on by building 4 covered tennis courts in Rutherglen. Built by tennis players for tennis players, they will meet the needs of all; young and old, novice to elite, getting more people playing tennis more often – rain, hail or shine! Or, as we like to say reign, hale and shine!
We’re deliberately using the word “covered” rather than “indoor” as the courts may not be completely enclosed to keep costs down. Cost is going to be fundamental to the success of this project. If it’s not affordable then we won’t build it. Also, the lower cost we can achieve, the more affordable and accessible it will be to the community. This will be a no-frills facility. We just want to keep the wind and rain off players and keep the courts free of snow and frost allowing us to play in all-weather.
We’re working towards a “Heads of Terms” agreement with South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) to lease a plot of land in Overtoun Park between the BMX track and Overtoun Bowling Club, where 8 blaes courts once thrived up to the late 1980s. This would give us a window of opportunity and confidence to develop the detailed plans and secure planning permission and funding for the new facility. The lease would only go live once we start invasive work meaning that we had achieved this position and were starting to build the new facility.
The new facility will comprise 4 courts, taking our total number of courts to 11, 2 Padel-Tennis courts (the first in Glasgow), gym area, changing and showering facilities, a social space, café area and spectator terrace, all under one big roof. In addition to enabling truly all-weather play, it will give us the extra space we need to continue to grow and expand. Whilst we thought that our expansion into our new Burnside facility would give us all the space we would ever need, our membership continues to grow at pace and we are now heading towards the recommended capacity for our seven outdoor courts.
Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club would build, own, operate and manage this new facility as a second annex to our main Viewpark facility, our home since 1922. This project will be very similar in nature to our Burnside courts which we saved in 2017 through our #ReturnToSplendour Project creating our first annexed site.
These three facilities would combine to establish a vibrant hub for tennis in Rutherglen allowing truly all-weather play.