MEMBERS of a tennis club are preparing to walk over 50 miles to raise funds to renovate their club as it celebrates its 100th birthday.

Yarm tennis club has been going for over 100 years but now members want to bring their club into the 2020s and modernise the facilities.

To raise the money members have created a crowdfunding campaign and are bracing themselves to walk 58 miles around eight local tennis clubs.

The clubhouse facilities however show the club’s age and are in desperate need of renovation. Moreover, they are completely impractical for a world in which people are asked to social distance, with a single narrow entrance to both changing rooms and toilet facilities – inconvenient for everyone and inaccessible to wheelchairs.

The Club now want to renovate their clubhouse to make it accessible to all and to take it forward over the coming decades.

This includes opening up the space in the main room which will require some internal walls to be removed, windows put in with new flooring and lighting.

They also want to create a separate entrance for the two changing rooms and toilets rather than have the two rooms off one corridor; renovating both existing rooms.

Creating a more modern space that can be enjoyed by more people.

In any other year, the run-up to the centenary year would have been full of fundraising events to generate funds to be able to carry out essential work.

However, Covid has prevented much of the planned fundraising. In addition, the club lost members and income due to the various lockdown closures.

The Club, therefore, is hoping that Crowdfunding will plug the gap caused by Covid and allow the club to move forward with its plans.

The Northern Echo: Jo McCullagh (left) and Anne Clayton (right) from Yarm Tennis Club

Anne Clayton a member of the club said: “We decided to do the fundraiser to make it more modern and accessible.

“We will be walking around tennis clubs in Yarm, Hutton Rugby, Great Broughton, Great Ayton, Stokesley, Guisborough, Saltburn, Tennis World, and then back to Yarm.

“I have never walked this far before; I did a lot of walking in lockdown so I hope that has prepared me for this.”

They hope the new renovations will attract people into the sport and are looking forward to new starters.