Building on the Inspired Facilities Olympic legacy funding investment in Margate Lawn Tennis Club last year by Sport England, the Club has now further invested in the conversion of two of its courts to Clayrite, state of the art artificial clay, replacing the old macadam surface.
"Sport England invested in our club," says Club Chairman John Taylor, "enabling us to rejuvenate two virtually derelict courts last year, providing them with new floodlighting and court perimeter fencing. Now we have taken that further by investing ourselves, with the support of Kent Tennis, in new artificial clay surfaces for these two courts. The result is that not only is the club brought back to a six, fully operational court venue, but these courts are now the prime ones of choice for members to play on."
The new monofilament fibre 'Clayrite' surface, installed by Maldon, Essex based and SAPCA registered ETC Sports Surfaces, is UK designed and manufactured by West Yorkshire based and SAPCA registered Playrite. Notably the Margate club is the first to install this new monofilament fibre, Clayrite design, which supersedes Playrite's previous fibrillated fibre carpet base. The 'clay' infill is produced and supplied by Garside Sands in the UK. Monofilament is the preferred artificial clay carpet design of the LTA.
In deciding on the Playrite installation, the club conducted exhaustive investigations and tests on various available, alternative surfaces, before deciding on both surface and installer. "We chose Clayrite monofilament artificial clay," says John Taylor, "based on performance, cost and other important parameters. It is also British designed and manufactured. We selected ETC Sports as the contractor for their honesty and extensive help and support in what was needed to be done to resurface and maintain our new courts. By analysing every aspect of what was necessary, with a failsafe of installer and manufacturer guarantees, we were able to avoid
the trap of blindly taking the safe option, in this case, of not having to resurface macadam before laying the new artificial clay surface, making a very substantial and welcome saving!"
The new courts are designed to perform as a 'real clay' surface. They are easy on the legs and joints, compared to macadam and other hard surfaces whilst improving the game and standards for coaching. "They are a fantastic surface to play on," says John Taylor, "enabling fit, less fit, minor injury and older players alike to thoroughly enjoy their tennis."
"Our newly designed monofilament fibre, Clayrite carpet," says Playrite Director, Chris Pickles, "has taken our tennis surface offering to the next level. The ability to simulate a natural clay court surface with lower maintenance costs and higher usage of the courts is a winning combination for any tennis club."
Part of National Floorcoverings Group, Playrite has over 20 years of experience in producing sports, including tennis, surfaces. Clayrite is designed and awaiting confirmation of approval of ITF category 2 as a clay style performance tennis surface: it looks and plays like a traditional clay surface, with slow surface speed, ball bounce and player enjoyment. It compares to traditional clay, but without the costly maintenance required for clay.
ETC Sports Surfaces boasts over 27 years experience in tennis court construction, artificial sports surfaces and multi-use game areas, working as tennis court contractors and all weather pitch contractors on various applications with clubs and institutions, councils, contractors, schools and private clients.
"It's really great to work alongside a British manufacturer," says ETC Sports Surfaces MD Simon Wells, "that produces a top specification clay carpet, that we don't have to import from Europe and especially not China. It's also good to have the reassurance of Playrite as a manufacturer, offering a great guarantee".