A THRIVING tennis club’s upgraded facilities have been officially declared open by local MP Rishi Sunak.

Great Ayton Tennis Club recently completed the refurbishment of the playing surface on three of its five courts and laid the foundations for further improvements.

Mr Sunak, MP for Richmond, said the club was a focal point for the Great Ayton community.

He said: “The success of the club in recent years in extending its membership and improving its facilities is a great example of what a community can do to draw more people into sport.

“The new courts surface is superb and I am sure club members will enjoy playing on it for many years to come.”

Mr Sunak was thanked for performing the opening duties by club chairman Dr Tim Ryan.

Dr Ryan said the installation of the water permeable cushioned surface, at a cost of more than £100,000, helped members who were starting younger, adults who were playing harder and older members who were playing longer.

“It has a truer bounce that is great for coaching, is also safer and better for old joints.”

Dr Ryan said the club’s plans for the future included floodlighting, for which the infrastructure had already been laid, and all-weather cover for two of the courts.

The opening, held during Great British Tennis Week, was attended by dozens of members, officials and coaches past and present, and pupils from the nearby Marwood Church of England Infants School.

For any further information contact info@greataytontennisclub.co.uk.