Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Submitted by: Sutton Winson Insurance Broker

Description

THE ALBERT CLUB
The Albert Tennis and Bowls club has just under 1,000 members who participate in a range of sports including tennis, bowls, snooker and table tennis. We also have cycling and rambling groups based at the club.

We are a base for local community groups and activities including the local residents’ association, mother and baby group, first aid training and events aimed at older people. We also support the local dyslexia association and have strong links with local schools and the Lawn Tennis Association.

THE PROJECT
The Albert Club welcomes families, who are drawn by our welcoming, inclusive atmosphere. The extensive clubhouse grounds are nice to relax in for adults and great to play in for their children.

Whilst we do have an extensive junior tennis programme, this competes for time and space with adult coaching, matches and social play. There is no space at the club which children can call their own and identify with. Despite having 117 junior members – with concessionary rates for children from low-income families – our facilities do not meet their needs.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed and for the past three years our lack of facilities specifically for children has been one of the top two issues as reported in our annual members’ survey. Because of this the issue is a high priority for both members and the club’s volunteers. We’ve also invited consultation on the issue of children’s facilities and have a junior representative on our tennis committee.

Our solution is to develop a space adjacent to the clubhouse which is currently derelict and overgrown and inevitably becomes a magnet for children!

We wish to turn this area into a safe, secure and flexible ‘Kids Zone’, which can be used for both supervised and unsupervised activities. It will also be a great facility for parents to start playing tennis with their children. We find that if the adults have not played before, using a full-sized tennis court can be quite daunting and something of a barrier.

The area will be primarily for mini-tennis activities but be adaptable for other sports and activities. For example, the court surface may have multiple markings for different sports, and additional equipment can be quickly and easily introduced such as a portable goalpost or basketball hoop. We estimate that based on our current junior programme, the developed space could mean an additional 32 children getting active each week.

GETTING KIDS ACTIVE
We have an extensive junior tennis coaching programme run by our head coach. Currently, around 250 children attend tennis coaching sessions every week, many after school and we run successful holiday tennis camps for around 170 kids which are open to the local community and include children with learning difficulties.

The club has strong links with local school Cavendish Road Primary School. All of year two attend a session on Thursdays and the club runs an after-school club for years two and three. Cavendish School year 3 and 4 are also the 2017 Greater Manchester Schools champions.

In addition to improving participation we also develop talent. Both Naomi and Liam Broady (British No. 3 and No. 7 tennis players) learnt to play at the Albert Club.

DELIVERY
The overall cost of the project is likely to be around £15,000 and we are pursuing funding opportunities including grants and sponsorship. We expect the project will be delivered in two stages. An initial clearing, making safe and providing a basic usable space for children which we estimate will cost around £5,000.

This will be followed by a second phase where the perimeter is secured, final playing surfaces completed and additional equipment purchased.

The club has a vibrant volunteer community and governance structure. We have successfully delivered improvement projects over the past few years and seek professional advice when required.

The Albert Bowling and Tennis Club

Location: 39-41 Old Lansdowne Road, Manchester, United Kingdom

The Albert Club has a thriving volunteer base who listen and act on the views of members and the local community – who we refer to as ‘Albert family’. This project is a demonstration of that commitment to improving facilities and the club has a strong track record on delivering.
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