THE FUND-RAISING target to resurface the tennis courts at Droitwich’s Lido Park has been ‘smashed’ with the work on the revamp scheduled to take place early next year.
The successful campaign to raise £40,000, launched by mum Elaine Ball and backed by The Standard, began in June last year and substantial donations from Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold and PSS of Stoke Prior took it over the line.
Wychavon initially agreed to match-fund a £20,000 total but then added another £10,000 to the drive.
Elaine took action after noticing the courts were in a dangerous state of disrepair. She and fellow fund-raiser Neil Bates wanted to provide the the best free courts possible for those who could either not afford or did not want to commit to joining a club but still wanted to play tennis.
As part of the fund-raising the ‘Leave a Lido Legacy’ was set up by Elaine and Neil enabling people, organisations and businesses to sponsor an area of the courts. It has attracted the support of more than 100 individuals, businesses and organisations and seen other fund-raising activities organised.
Elaine said “I am totally amazed by the way the local community has supported this campaign throughout.
“Individuals, businesses, schools and other organisations have all come together to help.
“The whole thing has really appealed to local people who want to see great facilities that anyone can use for free in their town.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped, in particular the fantastic support from Wychavon District Council and the Droitwich Standard newspaper who have both backed the project right from the start.
“Without them and the help from all of our sponsors this would never have happened.”
Everyone who has helped will be recognised on a ‘Board of Fame’ next to the courts. It will include the names of everyone who has donated for many years to come.
Elaine added: “There is still time to get involved if you haven’t already donated.
“We are really hoping that we can also raise enough to replace the fencing around the courts and every penny raised will go into the project to make it as good as we can for the town.”
Lynn Stevens, Wychavon District Council’s senior parks officer, said: “We were so impressed with Elaine’s campaign to get these courts improved and were very happy to support it, but couldn’t stretch to the entire project cost.
“Elaine’s determination and creativity to raise the additional funds has ensured that the project got through this final hurdle.”
If all goes to plan, the new courts will open next spring.
As well as the courts resurfacing, the campaign has also encouraged more people to get involved and take up the sport.
Tennis has already started in the park, with regular organised sessions taking place every Saturday morning costing just £1 a time for adults and youngsters.
Visit www.lidoparktennis.co.uk for more information.