Great Ayton Tennis Club is one of the oldest family tennis clubs in North Yorkshire and will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2019; having occupied two sites before moving in 1951 to the land opposite the Buck Hotel. We are delighted that we have three generations playing competitive tennis today. Grandparents, parents, children; and grandchildren who are given a ball and racket to play with as soon as they are able.
As part of community of family Clubs in the region we can play affordably and competitively, both at home and away, within the Cleveland League and our close links to National Clubs like the David Loyd Centres, Tennis World and our LTA membership, are able to give our players the opportunity to be “as good as they can be” (says Ayton born and bred, Men’s Team Captain Wayne Stephenson). The men’s first team, for the first time in our history, have reached the next level and will be playing in the Yorkshire League this year as well as the Cleveland League.
Our iconic village location is both Nationally and Internationally known, as a result of being a gateway to the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park and the home of Captain Cooks family whose Great Ayton house (moved stone by stone) can now be visited in a park in Melbourne, Australia.
Over the last 20 years, the on average 200 senior and juniors members, have saved over £100,000 in a sinking fund to resurface our 3 main match courts with “Poraflex”. This fulfllls the requirement to be self-sustaining made in return for Sport England Lottery funding 20 years ago – which at that time enabled the original number of courts to be increased from 3 to 5. A porous state of the art, LTA approved surface, “Emerald” was laid at that time together with other improvements to the site required by the planning application including a new car park and entrance and landscaping.
This was possible thanks to a 21 year lease from the then brewer Whitbread. and owner of the land including the adjacent Buck Hotel in West Terrace – other hostelries are available, such as the Royal Oak in the village centre.
“Poraflex” is similarly a new porous surface, that is also cushioned and aligns well with the objects of the Club that became a Registered Charity (CIO) in 2017. (The objects of GATC are the promotion of community participation in healthy recreation in particular in the provision of facilities for the playing of tennis). The “Poraflex” surface aligns with the Trustees long term Development Plan and our Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) compliant Safe and Inclusive Policies for our members.
Our members, who are starting earlier, our young men who are playing harder and our 3rd agers who are playing longer, will be helped by a cushioned “Poraflex” surface that is kind to injured or aging joints (ankles, knees, hips etc) and also needed for keeping fit in our Cardio tennis lessons. The surface has a truer bounce that is great for teaching / coaching by our 4 coaches.
In the members area there is more a detailed history of how the membership and playing habits have changed over the decades and how the land we occupy has changed over the centuries. Together with our plans for the future to provide even better facilities.