Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club is situated in the south west of Sheffield and over the years, club players and officials have accepted that weather patterns lead to many days where wet and damp conditions prevail. Prior to the tennis court refurbishment programme that was completed in April 2011 players had no choice in wet weather other than to pay extra to play indoors or to cancel their scheduled matches.
Before the refurbishment the club had four cushioned acrylic courts, three macadam courts and one clay court. In wet conditions the courts became unplayable. The hard macadam surface was slippery when wet, the clay court couldn't be played on and the non-porous acrylic courts had standing water.
After considering many surface options and contracting companies, the decision was made to have a block of six Proturf Plus synthetic grass courts installed. Proturf Plus is a sand-filled artificial grass tennis surface with a dense, comfortable 15mm pile - ideal for tennis clubs and is available exclusively from Fosse Contracts.
Importantly for the club, Proturf Plus is hard-wearing and free draining allowing play throughout the year. The remaining pair of cushioned acrylic courts continue to be used as weather conditions permit.
The programme of work included the drilling of thousands of drainage holes in the macadam and acrylic courts followed by back-filling with pea gravel and overlaying with a new macadam surfacing course to achieve the fine tolerances required. The new surface was installed over the prepared base with terra cotta inner court areas with green surrounds. Permanent lines were a key part of the installation.
The whole project cost around £120k including VAT. £20k of this sum was from club funds with the balance provided by NatWest in the form of a commercial loan. Matt Whittaker, the club's Business Manager, is very conscious of the positive comments coming from club members. The tennis section has about 800 of them and since the refurbishment the number has been steadily increasing.
He states, "We couldn't be happier with the work that has been done by Fosse. I have heard no complaints from anyone. Coaches love it because sessions are very rarely cancelled. Members love it because they have six court surfaces of exactly the same type and juniors like the slower pace which helps with practice and adds to the length of rallies."