By Tristan Harris 20/04 Updated: 25/04 00:07
TENNIS fans are in for a treat at Barnt Green Sports Club next Saturday (April 28) when former British number one Greg Rusedski will officially open the club's new artificial clay courts.
As part of the £170,000 redevelopment, the three existing tennis courts have been converted to 'artificial clay' which has rapid drainage properties, allowing play to take place in all conditions. New floodlights have also been installed.
A £62,000 grant has come from Sport England as part of its 'Places to Play' strategy, there has been an interest-free loan from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and £42,000 has been invested from the club's funds.
As well as officially opening the courts, the former BBC Sports Personality of the year and US Open finalist will also put on some training drills for youngsters and invite people to have a go at returning of one of his trademark super-fast serves. He holds the record for the fastest ever serve - at a rapid 149mph.
There will also be a speed gun at the event so those who go along can measure how fast their own serves are and there will be the chance to play tennis, badminton and squash with Barnt Green Sports Club members.
Qualified coaches will offer training tips and refreshments will be available at the event, which starts at 10am.
There will also be trial memberships and special rates for those joining up on the day.
The club chairman Malcolm Palmer said: "We look forward to welcoming lots of new visitors on April 28 and hope to make many new friends, and, maybe, find some new stars."
Barnt Green Sports Club now has five all-weather tennis courts with floodlights, two badminton courts with a specially sprung maple floor and two squash courts. There is also table tennis, a bar and lounge area.
The club's manager Nick Butcher said: "We now think we have the best facilities for tennis, squash and badminton in the county."
For more on the club, which is on Margesson Drive, off Bittell Road, Barnt Green, visit www.barntgreensportsclub.co.uk or call Nick Butcher on 0121 445 1978, Martin Edwards on 0121 445 4299 or James Flynn on 0121 445 0611.
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