Smashing time 
as TV presenter opens clubhouse

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown cuts the ribbon on Cullercoats' new clubhouse with chairman Jeff Thompson and young members.

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown cuts the ribbon on Cullercoats' new clubhouse with chairman Jeff Thompson and young members.

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Tennis players are looking forward to having a smashing time in their new-look clubhouse.

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown was on hand to officially open the refurbished facility at Cullercoats Tennis Club.

After cutting the ribbon, keen tennis player Jeff took part in an exhibition match with Cullercoats’ top players and enjoyed fun mini red games with some of its youngest members.

The interior of the building, on Beverley Gardens next to St George’s Church, has been revamped thanks to a £60,000 funding boost from SITA Trust and investment by the club.

The refurbishment includes a club room, new toilets and shower facilities, an energy-efficient heating system and community space to be made available to local groups for meetings and activities.

Jeff said: “It’s my first visit, but I’m very impressed with the work that’s being done at the Cullercoats club – especially with youngsters.

“I’ve been a tennis fan since I was old enough to hold a racquet, and I just wish these sorts of facilities and opportunities had been more widely available when I was younger.

“I only joined a club myself, and started being coached, when I was in my early 40s. I’ve had to do a lot of catching up.

“Cullercoats is in a lovely setting, and seems very welcoming.

“Anything that promotes tennis gets my vote, and I’m just happy to have played some small part in the club taking a major step forward in planning for the future.”

Club chairman Jeff Thompson said: “We’re delighted that Jeff took the time to officially open our refurbished clubhouse and play with some of our top players and stars of the future.

“We’re really pleased with the revamp and would like to thank SITA Trust for the grant which has enabled us to transform our clubhouse into a year-round community hub which matches our excellent playing facilities.

“Already it has made such a difference to our members and we’ve had excellent feedback from visiting teams. We would like to thank everyone involved in the project and we look forward to the facility being used by the club and the community throughout the year.”

Community groups are welcome to use the facilities for meetings and activities. For more information visit www.cullercoatstennis.co.uk or contact Jeff Thompson on 07905 298480.

The club, which welcomes new members, is giving people the chance to play for free at an open event on Sunday, June 29, from 2pm to 4pm as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend.