Termonfeckin Tennis club – the background.
In 2001, a small group of parents living in Termonfeckin found common cause. They wanted their children to learn to play tennis but there was no facility in South Louth. The only option was to travel on a weekly basis to the tennis club in Bettystown, Co. Meath, where the children received coaching.
They decided to explore the possibility of founding a tennis club to serve people living in their own locality.
Contact was made with An Grianan, the headquarters of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association, (I.C.A.), where two tennis courts already existed. Their support was very positive and so on April 10th 2001, Termonfeckin Tennis Club was formally established, initially with 20 family memberships and a budget of €4,000, based in An Grianan through an informal leasing arrangement and with the I.C.A.
The tennis club is continuing a tradition of tennis in the Termonfeckin area. Many years ago the Lentaigne Tennis Club was sited on the estate of what is now An Grianan. This link has been marked by the donation of the historical Lentaigne Cup to the new club, for its senior championship trophy.
A professional tennis coach was employed to establish adult and children’s coaching and to run a tennis summer camp in the first year.
Coaching opened on June 9th2001 and 97 children enrolled – the first confirmation that the club served a local need – and the first tennis camp was held which was a great success.
The weekly Club Night for adult members was started shortly afterwards and has become a popular fixture in the club diary. At the same time, a weekly Ladies Tennis morning began and continues to this day.
The first Club Competitions were introduced in late summer 2001 and today the club runs a series of member competitions throughout the year. Supervised children’s tennis during the summer holidays was introduced in summer 2003 and has proved very successful.
The club held its first AGM on April 11th 2002 in our Club House in the Lucy Frank’s room beside the tennis courts.
In the first year the club was active from April to October, with Saturday coaching.
In August 2002, An Grianan installed tennis court lighting and Termonfeckin Tennis Club became a year-round operation.
Arrangements with An Grianan were formalised and a yearly licensing agreement for use of the facilities was established.
In late 2010 in co-operation with the I.C.A. it was decided to up-grade the playing surface of the tennis courts. Unfortunately the terrible winter of 2010-11 delayed the work but in Spring of 2011 two surface tennis courts were playable and have greatly improved the playing experience in the club.
The club is a member of Tennis Ireland, the national organisation for tennis in this country. It is registered with North East Tennis, the initiative which promotes and develops tennis within the Louth/Meath area. It has an open membership policy.
Value to a growing community
Termonfeckin is located in the heart of a growing community, North of Drogheda, where new families are mingling with existing residents. Every family shares the same need to belong to the local community, to have a social base where they can make friendships and, most importantly, to help their children to meet and befriend others. For newcomers in the community, this social base can be a vital means of integrating. Many members of Termonfeckin Tennis Club have cited the club as an important factor in making friends and in settling into the area.
An important development
The tennis club has been an important development for the area, on a number of counts:
- It offers a social focal point for residents in the greater Termonfeckin area, at an affordable price.
- It is a year-round leisure facility for the area’s growing youth population.
- It offers day-time social opportunities for women working in the home.
- It is one of the few affordable leisure facilities on the doorstep of Termonfeckin.
- It draws membership from across the local community.
- Is the only tennis club in South Louth.
The club also has very specific strengths on which to secure the future:
- It is firmly anchored by a club development and coaching programme, co-ordinated by a leading tennis professional.
- Its organising committee has a strong track record in Tennis Ireland clubs.
- It has solid community support.
- Its high membership has confirmed the demand for such a facility.
Today, Termonfeckin Tennis Club is thriving and, with a permanent base and expanded facilities, will become a vital part of the local community.