Public tennis courts at Botley and Hinksey Park are open this week for the rest of the summer, following significant upgrade work.
Managed by the LTA, and funded by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, Oxford City Council was awarded £100,000 by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) this year to upgrade the outdoor courts, which were no longer up to expected playing standards.
Through the Parks Tennis Project, the LTA is delivering the biggest ever investment in parks tennis facilities across Britain, providing a significant boost to local sporting facilities.
The courts are opening this month following resurfacing and a new gate system which is helping ensure that quality facilities are available for the local community.
Contractors have made the courts ready with temporary markings so that residents can make the most of the summer season, and once schools reopen the remaining works will be completed, including repainting and final court markings.
Courts will be available for booking at tennisoxfordshire.com, as part of local social enterprise Courtside’s partnership with Oxford City Council. The courts are free to book until the end of August. From September, there will be a £5 charge per hour (shared by 2-4 people), which is a reduced fee for this year compared to the other council courts in the city.
The small booking fee is expected to reduce the number of no-show bookings, which prevent other people being able to book the courts. The income will also contribute to maintenance costs to keep the courts at a high standard for years to come. The LTA, Courtside and Oxford City Council will work together to ensure free park tennis sessions are available on the courts providing regular opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and play.
Through a nationwide Parks Tennis Project, the LTA is delivering the biggest ever investment in parks tennis facilities across Britain, providing a significant boost to sporting facilities.
For the summer opening, the courts are open for general bookings, with the full range of tennis services being offered after all the upgrade works are completed in September.
The council’s tennis partner, Courtside, will offer the free park tennis sessions with equipment provided, tennis coaching and local tennis leagues, giving people the opportunity to get involved in friendly and social local competitions.
The partnership between the council and Courtside saw Florence Park courts win the LTA’s National Park Venue of the Year this summer, in recognition of the great quality facilities and the community tennis programme they provide.
“I’m very pleased to see the courts opening this summer for people to make the most of the holidays. The LTA-funded upgrade means we can provide outstanding quality courts, and I’m looking forward to seeing the full range of services at Botley and Hinksey Park when the works are finalised this autumn.”
Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, Oxford City Council
”We’re really excited with the upgraded facilities coming to Hinksey and Botley Parks. Following on from previous improvements at Florence Park, we’ve seen the difference new courts can make in the local community and our coaching team is ready to share the fun, fitness and friendship tennis offers to as many people as possible. We invite everyone to come and give it a go.”
Jeff Hunter, Managing Director of Courtside
“After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts at Botley and Hinksey Park officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.
“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA
"We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health.
"The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in Oxford.
"These improved tennis facilities will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu."
Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister