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Wye Tennis Club History

The Club was founded in 1971 and had a Committee of five. Jack Gilbert was the first Chairman. Other members were Jean Gilbert, Beth Antonelli, Audrey Watson and George Ireland. The two courts were laid by local builder Bill Cailes from money raised by the Wye Village Fete Committee. The tennis players shared the changing rooms of the local football club at the village hall. In 1980 a portacabin was put on site and acted as the Clubhouse. Ten years later floodlights were erected.

In November 2005, Graham Sutherland became Club Chairman. In 2008 a purpose built clubhouse was built in place of the portacabin. In 2010 courts three and four were added with floodlights whilst at the same time the original floodlights on courts one and two were replaced. In 2012 a fifth court was added also with the provision of a rebound wall.

The improved facilities together with a structured coaching programme has attracted new members. In 2008 there were just 149 members. Today there are over 550 members including 53 family memberships.

Wye Primary School have incorporated tennis into their sporting curriculum and a substantial number of the pupils receive weekly coaching at the Club during term time. In April 2014, Wye Primary School won the Kent LTA Primary School of the Year Award. Wye Tennis Club itself received the Kent LTA Club of the Year Award in 2013 as well as being awarded the ‘Long Trophy’ presented by the Parish Council to the organisation that has made a big impact on village life.

Between 2008 and 2012, Roger Draper the then Chief Executive of the LTA visited the Club on four occasions. In 2011 we were visited by the Rt. Hon. Hugh Robertson M.P. who at that time was the Minister for Sport. We are very fortunate to have as our Club Patron the Rt. Hon. Damian Green, M.P. who has visited the Club on a number of occasions and has been very encouraging and supportive of the Clubs aims.

The success of our Club would not have been possible, without the support of Wye Parish Council, Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and the Wye Village Hall Committee. Along with our own Committee we have achieved a good example of a grassroots community Club that is an asset to the village.

In November 2022 a popular padel court was added. After Sundridge Park, Bromley, Wye is the first LTA Club in Kent to have added padel.

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