LIKE all the outdoor tennis clubs in the country, the Avenue Tennis Club will be reopening its gates on Monday, March 29.

Tennis manager Barry Ramsden said he is really looking forward to welcoming everyone back onto the Avenue courts, and pointed out that the club has a month’s free membership offer available for anyone who wants to give tennis a go and get an insight into the club before joining; anyone interested can contact him at the club (01278 782758) or via 07749 878581 for details.

LTA-qualified coaches provide coaching throughout the week for all ages and abilities, and membership of the club enables access to play on any of the eight floodlit courts (four Astroturfed and four Tarmacadam), together with access to the clubhouse facilities - which will open again when Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Avenue is also participating in the LTA initiative to get more people back into tennis or onto a court for the first time, and have allocated some court times for non-members to come and have a go; more details can be obtained from the LTA website here.

Ramsden also confirmed that Performance Plus Sports has committed to sponsor a free six-week tennis coaching course; contact Ramsden to book a place on the course (from Monday, April 12, 5-6pm, for all seven to nine-year-olds).

The club will continue to provide the “LTA Youth Start” programme initiative, which replaces Tennis for Kids, which has been run very successfully at the club for several years now.

New courses have been organised as follows:

  • Monday, April 12, 4-4.45pm, for all beginners aged six to seven
  • Monday, April 12, 6-7pm, for girls only, nine to 10 years old
  • Friday, April 23, 6-7pm, for all beginners, nine to 11 years old

These can only be accessed and booked by visiting the LTA website here.

As with the Tennis for Kids, the kids will receive a new tennis racket, balls and a branded T-shirt for the cost of £29.99 plus £5 P&P.

A new course will also be run for adult beginners and “rusty” rackets wanting to get back into tennis, or to take up tennis for the first time, where they can have some fun and exercise, while meeting some new people from the town and surrounding area.

The six-week course will run on Wednesday evenings, 7-8.30pm, from April 28; please contact Ramsden to book a place.

There are a variety of other courses held at the club throughout the week and weekend, or individual lessons are available - see the club website for details.

The club organises social and competitive tennis throughout the week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, together with a variety of subsidised coaching sessions for juniors and adults, as well as running ladies and men’s teams that compete in the North Somerset Tennis Leagues.

Outside of tennis, the club runs several other social events, such as, barbecues, Wednesday evening suppers and a variety of other lunches and events, while there are two bridge clubs run during the week (contact details on the website).

Avenue coach Vinny Duddy said: “I am really looking forward to getting back on court for some competition, exercise and coaching but, more than that, just to be back at the Avenue Tennis Club with friends, family and other players.

“I cannot believe how much I have missed working with the kids and adults from a coaching point of view.

“I have always hated not being able to play sport because of injury, but this was really different and made me think how much I enjoy just being around like-minded people who want to play sport and have fun through sport.

“We are very lucky in Burnham-on-Sea to have such fabulous facilities; the club, and its members, are always keen to invite new players to the club, of any standard and age.”

Avenue Tennis Club’s website can be found here.