independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

Search for tennis court site is being considered

OFF THE back of the recent Wimbeldon finals it would seem that ' tennis fever' has taken hold of Wexford town. Austin Pender, Chairperson of Wexford's Parks Tennis committee, has called for children and young people in the Clonard and Coolcotts parish to pick up a racquet and give the sport a try.

However, this has sparked a debate as to where can young people from the area go to play tennis. The lack of public tennis courts in this part of town is something which Austin feels should be addressed because ' there are so many young people in the area'.

It's been suggested that the carpark at Clonard Church is one possible venue which could be turned into a public tennis court. Previously, the car park was a popular haunt for tennis lovers. However, after the building was developed in 1998 the former tennis courts were done away with in order to create new car parking spaces.

The line markings from the original tennis courts remain visible on the tarmacadam surface of the new car park, which not only services the church but also the adjoining Clonard Community Centre.

A representative of the Community Centre explained that it is ' highly unlikely' that the car park will be returned to its former use due to the sheer level of activity at the centre they require full use of the car park.

However, it has sparked discussion on the possibility of developing a public tennis court at another location in the area. Cllr George Lawlor put forward one suggestion, that a green field site in NAMA control be sought for this specific purpose.

A similar project was instigated by Wexford Albion Football Club recently and they succeeded in acquiring a NAMA site in Coolcotts Lane, to support the expansion of their club.

Other options which have been thrown into the mix for consideration include the establishment of a tennis court on either the green at Ferndale or Belvedere housing estates.

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