Eccleston Park Tennis Club provides a vital source of physical activity and social interaction across our local community, offering access to tennis coaching, matchplay and social events for adults and juniors alike. The club supports neighbouring areas including St Helens, Prescot and Knowsley that have some of the highest rates of physical inactivity and childhood poverty in the country. Our ambition is to encourage participation in tennis and make the sport accessible and enjoyable for our entire community, regardless of ability or background.
To achieve this aim, we must develop our facilities in the future to keep pace with modern demands and expectations, so that tennis can continue to be enjoyed year-round, rather than being constrained to a 'Summer' activity.
Impact of COVID-19
Like many of you, we had big plans for 2020, which have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic! In the run-up to the new season, we've been continuing to raise funds for the redevelopment of our three shale courts into an all-weather artificial clay surface.
Unfortunately, our finances have been severely damaged by the significant economic impact of Covid-19. The club relies on revenue from social events, coaching and hospitality as its primary source of income, and all such activity has been suspended since March. No social and community events mean no income, and immediate risk to the club's financial health. The club has ongoing maintenance costs, with over £2,500 being spent on the yearly maintenance of our shale courts and almost £1400 over the year for the upkeep of our two synthetic clay courts. This is in addition to ongoing utility bills.
What are we doing during this time?
Once normal operations resume, we aim to continue with the fundraising efforts for the critical future redevelopment project, with the outstanding participation of the club's volunteers, alongside searching for matched funding from governing bodies. However, the loss of all coaching and social revenue means that the club needs support from crowdfunding for immediate financial security to meet the significant costs for maintenance and ensuring the safety of our members in the extraordinary current circumstances. We are proud to have responded so rapidly to the Public Health and LTA guidelines to equip the club for safe re-opening, so that members and visitors can return to playing tennis in a secure and protected environment. However, these measures such as the installation of hand sanitisers on every court and on entry and exit to the club, whilst essential, have further significantly increased our costs and the required commitment from our many volunteers.
How can you help?
We now need the help of our members, supporters, and local residents, to pledge funds and secure the short-term financial health of our fantastic club, so that we can continue to sustain the physical and mental wellbeing of our community.
We've prepared an exciting package of rewards to show our appreciation for your support, plus everyone pledging £10 or more will receive an invite to our Pledgers’ BBQ to help celebrate us reaching our target!
We are really grateful for any contribution that people are willing to make towards securing the immediate financial health of the club. By supporting the club at a time when its chief sources of revenue have vanished, pledgers are helping the club recover from the significant effects of COVID-19, enabling us to resume normal operations as soon as safely possible to support the local community in being active. This recovery will then allow us to strive towards our exciting and essential long-term plans to transform our facilities for the benefit of St. Helens Prescot, Knowsley and the surrounding areas.