Susan Gosling – Almscliffe Tennis & Bowling Club
Susan joined Almscliffe Tennis and Bowling Club in 2013 and soon joined the Tennis Committee, helping to rebuild interest in the Club as well as establishing a ladies team to play in the local league. Three years ago, the Committee had a vision – to build a new tennis court (including Pay and Play access), refurbish our two existing courts and floodlight all three, making our rural facility year round and more widely accessible to our community. We estimated that, in order to achieve this, we needed in excess of £200,000 – an extremely daunting sum!
Working with a small team of volunteers and harnessing the enthusiasm of club members and the local community who supported our project with financial donations as well as giving their time, prizes, cakes and organising innovative fundraising events, we achieved our target in Spring 2020…just before we were locked down! Spurred on by an extremely generous donation from former village resident, Mark Hillery, Susan and her team liaised with the LTA and Yorkshire Tennis, securing their support through the Transforming British Tennis Together and Advantage Yorkshire programmes. She researched grant funders, making some 24 applications and was rewarded with awards from Sport England, Garfield Weston Foundation, Bramhall Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Weeton Village Fund and the Holbeck Trust.
Seeing our project coming to fruition is exciting and worth the hard work, dedication and peaks and troughs of fundraising! Our contractors have worked hard during lockdown and members were excited that a return to tennis coincided with the completion of our newly refurbished courts. Work has now started on building our new court and once current restrictions are lifted we look forward to marketing our Club, starting our full coaching programme and welcoming new members, our village school children and locals to play on our new facilities!