Tennis players are being summoned to Falkirk’s court with Scotland’s Club of the Year.
They are receiving an “excellent example” of community sport at a location described as a ‘beacon’ according to the chief executive of the national racket game and the Lawn Tennis Association.
Tennis Scotland’s David Marshall hailed Falkirk Community Tennis as a well-run, community-focused place to play after being impressed with the scheme based at Dollar Park’s courts.
The governing body’s Vice-President Ian Conway presented the trophy to Falkirk Community Trust.
Mr Marshall commented: “There has been a tremendous amount of work undertaken by Falkirk Community Tennis to establish such a vibrant and sustainable tennis programme over a relatively short space of time. They are an excellent example of a modern place to play tennis, working well with partners and engaging with the local community through the schools network to really drive forward participation in tennis.”
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the Tennis Foundation accredited the venue with ‘Beacon’ status in August, despite only establishing the programme in June last year, and the scheme growing rapidly over a short space of time.
Players marked the presentation with the 2011/12 Falkirk District Regional Primary School Finals, hosted and organised by Falkirk Community Trust with volunteers from St Mungo’s High School.
The day featured around 120 children from the final six cluster-winning primary schools, was a culmination of the year-long competition that has seen more than 2,000 children from 46 primary schools in the Falkirk area pick up a tennis racket.
Wallacestone Primary School was the winning team, followed by St Frances Xavier in second and Bo’ness Public third.
Kirsty Humphries, Sports Development Officer for Falkirk Community Trust, added: “We now have over 500 registered tennis players using the facility here at Dollar Park, including over 100 juniors who are now competing regularly in competitive matches.
“As a result we have seen a 70% increase in community use.
“We intend to continue to work with our partners, including Tennis Scotland, to continue to grow and develop tennis opportunities in the future.
“We would love to see over 1000 people in our programme in the future, and continue working with our local clubs, Falkirk Lawn and Laurieston, helping them achieve maximum capacities and increased regularly competing juniors.”