All-weather tennis on new surface

“THE OFFICIAL opening will take place come rain or shine!” was emphasised to the Review by Montrose Tennis Club secretary Rhona Alston, before Saturday’s event.

The reason for the celebration was the re-opening of three courts with state-of-the-art synthetic grass.

The ceremony was performed by Stewart Harris, chief executive officer of sportscotland, accompanied by Kirsty McRae from Tennis Scotland.

They untied the ceremonial ribbon to the accompaniment of piper Alexander Sanger.

Alan Ross and Jonathon Lints, members of the Scotland Tennis Team, then played an exhibition match on the new surface.

Tayside inter-district coach Robin Nisbet was present, and took some of the youngsters on the courts with the guest players, talent-spotting.

After the event, Rhona was full of praise for the large number of people who had come along: “Despite the freezing weather!”

She estimated that there were around 100 people in the clubhouse for the opening.

Another attraction for many people was the presence of Mark Hagen, from Skipton, who had a large selection of tennis equipment and trainers, which was favourably viewed by customers.

A raffle for Macmillan Care Support was held, and this will be drawn on April 19, when the club officially opens for the season.

On that date, the new floodlights will be officially switched on.

Rhona said: “We’re hoping that all our previous members will re-join - as well as new ones, of course.”

She recalled that there were 302 on the books at the close of last season.

The club is looking forward to the start of the new season of leagues.

And yesterday the courts played host to a national event, a schools tie against Bearsden.

An investment of £58,844 from sportscotland – along with funding from Angus Council Common Good and Community Fund, Awards for All, Colin Grant Trust, Co-operative Community Fund, Gannochy Trust, Robertson Trust and Williamina Skea Trust, Alexander Moncur Trust along with club funds– has helped to finance the £117,687 project.

Mr Harris said: “We are delighted to have been involved in this project at Montrose Tennis Club, and pleased that our investment has helped to transform the club’s courts.

“sportscotland is committed to investing in quality facilities as part of its drive towards developing a world-class sporting system at all levels.”