At Cary Park Tennis Club we constantly strive to meet our objective ‘To provide high quality but affordable facilities and training to enable everyone in our community, especially youngsters, to play tennis’.
The managing committee, all unpaid volunteers, simply could not do this without the support and generosity of the organisations, businesses and individuals highlighted here
Barclays Bank and the Football Foundation. These were our biggest sponsors to date, handing over a whopping £19,000 for the resurfacing and repainting of courts three, four and five. As well as the cash, they organised it for the Barclays Premier League Trophy and the ATP Tennis Trophy to go on show at our club one memorable afternoon two years ago when people queued to have their photos taken with two of the world’s most iconic sports trophies
Aviva Insurance. Aviva very generously gave us £1000 towards our new viewing area in front of courts four, five and six. Because much of the work was done free of charge by one of our members, Winston Barlow, we were able to stretch the cash to help towards buying two picnic tables and two benches.
Every year the elected Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, very generously gives up some of his salary to give to local causes. It was third time lucky for us when he gave us £500 for the purchase of the two picnic tables in front of court two. But Mr Oliver has also been very generous with his time, visiting the club on several occasions, chatting to members and helping the committee with advice about various issues.
Devon Community Foundation. A £1000 grant from this fund has enabled Cary Park Tennis Club to finance a unique coaching initiative with seven of our local primary schools. Pupils from Babbacombe, Ellacombe, Watcombe, St Margaret’s, Homelands, Ilsham and Barton have received court time, use of racquets and balls and coaching courtesy of Rob Short and his team – entirely free of charge. No other club, to our knowledge, has offered this level of help to schools who may not have the resources to fund their own tennis classes.
Skipton Building Society. A £500 grant from the Skipton helped us to buy a specialised vacuum machine with which to clear the tennis courts of leaves and debris, and also to help maintain our 18-hole putting course – all work that used to have to be done by hand. Members also raised a lot of money towards this aptly-named Billy Goat, with all manner of fund-raising stunts.
Big Lottery Fund.
The National Lottery used its ‘Celebrate’ Fund to enable us to run our first ever Grandparents Day. The money was used to bring together the generations in a unique day with a simple concept. Any grandparent could bring along a grandchild, and any grandchild could bring along a grandparent, and play tennis completely free of charge. As well as £350 cash, the Lottery also gave us a stack of goody bags and T-shirts for the kids, and bunting to publicise the event. And our members baked the cakes for the free refreshments on offer all day.
Babbacombe and St Marychurch Community Partnership.
This hard working voluntary group gave us £350 towards the purchase of an outdoor notice board. The idea was to put the board outside the club gates so that passers-by could find out what was going on at the club – something they had never been able to do. But when we received the cash, little did we know that our own Mike Coleman would turn out a brilliant hand-made notice board that was a work of art in itself. In fact it was so good that two successive Council chairman, our Mayor, our MP, and representatives of the Devon LTA and Sport Torbay came along to the official opening.
Devon LTA. Although it’s been several years since we received the grant, we are still getting winter-long use out of our two floodlit courts paid for by the Devon Lawn Tennis Association. We are grateful to them, not just for this grant, but for their continued support throughout the existence of the club.
Tesco. Thanks to our many members, friends and familes we came top in the in-store voting in competition with a range of local charities. That meant that Tesco has promised us £3,000 for an outdoor table tennis table. The cash came from the 5p people pay for plastic bags as laid down by the government.
The Co-op. This is the latest in our fund-raising ventures – cash to buy a mechanical ball machine for coaching purposes. The Co-Op do an enormous amount for local groups and this year we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of their recipients. And in fact the generous Co-Op came up with more than THREE TIMES what we asked for – enabling us to clean and refurbish Court Six.
Uplands Retail (contractors for the Co-op) Despite having no local connection, this Bristol-based building firm were the main contractors for the refurbishment of the St Marychurch branch of the Co-op when Cary Park were invited to officially re-open the store. As a gesture of goodwill the company chipped in £500 which we could use for a project of our choice. We used the money to crown-lift, trim and tidy up an unsightly tree.