Lets get city's schoolkids on tennis courts

A TENNIS fan who led a campaign to restore a rundown sports facility is launching a new appeal.

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Campaigner Greg Summers at Newlands tennis courts which he wants to turn into a well-used free community resource for youngstersPictures Martin Shields
Campaigner Greg Summers at Newlands tennis courts which he wants to turn into a well-used free community resource for youngstersPictures Martin Shields

Dad-of-two Greg Summers wants to provide five schools in the south side of Glasgow with 150 tennis balls and 40 racquets.

The 41-year-old started a campaign in October 2012 to refurbish the tennis courts in Newlands Park after they fell into disrepair.

As previously reported in the Evening Times, the council has been upgrading the facility since then and working with the community to clean it up.

But now the campaign's next step is to get local pupils onto the three full-size courts, which are free to use.

Mr Summers, a public speaker and entertainer who grew up in Auldhouse, spent his childhood learning and playing tennis on the courts.

He said: "The aim was to get the courts back into action and refurbished in time for the Commonwealth Games. We have achieved that and they are being well used - so now I want to take it further and get the kids out on the courts."

Mr Summers is urging any local businesses or individuals to donate 30 junior tennis racquets, 10 adult racquets and 150 balls.

They would be shared out among Merrylee, Tinto, Our Lady of the Annunciation and Calderwood Lodge Primary as well as Dairsie House School.

The aim is to provide the use of the free courts to youngsters of all backgrounds in and around the Newlands area.

Mr Summers said: "The great thing about Newlands Park is that it can be used by kids in Merrylee, Shawlands, and everywhere in between."

Council workers have fixed the perimeter fencing, widened the entrance and fixed the net posts.

They have agreed to keep up maintenance, as well as paint and lay linings on all the courts.

Meanwhile, members of the community got involved by digging out overgrown weeds and tidying up the courts area.

The park dates back to the 1920s and the courts were kept in a good condition by the council until around 1985.

A council spokeswoman said: "To hopefully encourage more people to use the courts we've agreed to repaint the lines on the all weather tennis court and re-mark the blaes courts with plastic tape."

If you would like to help email Greg at gregor@summers8780.fsnet.co.uk

rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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