Atlantic Racquet Centre is a brand-new multi-sports community facility in Bideford. It currently offers 4 indoor and 6 outdoor tennis courts as well as 3 badminton courts. A gym, squash courts and a café are planned to be completed in the next year. A particularly notable addition will be an especially designed purpose-built changing room, fully equipped with aids – hoist, changing bench, grab rails etc – for use by disabled visitors; this will be open to the wider community, not just those people using the Centre.
The centre offers a wide range of affordable coaching sessions for both children & adults of all standards as well hosting birthday parties & events. It is open to the public and all courts can be hired on a pay & play basis from just £6 per hour. In addition to this we offer a range of fantastic membership options for individuals and families.
Westward Ho! Tennis Club first formed the vision for this facility back in 2004. At that point the club, located in Avon Lane, Westward Ho!, had 4 outdoor tennis courts and there was a waiting list of over a year for children to join its coaching programme. At that time, people had to travel to Barnstaple to play on indoor courts, which was not always convenient, and was expensive.
In 2013 the club sold its site in Westward Ho! and the proceeds of this sale were donated to the newly formed community charity Atlantic Racquet Centre. The charity went on to raise additional funds from Sport England, The Lawn Tennis Association, Bideford Bridge Trust, Squash England, Torridge District Council together with the help of a number of other organisations and individuals.
In July 2014 the site at Caddsdown was purchased and work began on the new facilities. Play on the outside courts began in April 2015, and the 4 indoor courts were opened in January 2018, followed in September by the new Badminton facilities.
Since 2015 overall membership has grown from 150 to over 575, and numbers accessing the coaching have increased from 57 to over 330. The charity provides regular disability tennis sessions, both at the courts, and visiting schools. ARC also has links with three disability organisations in the area, and runs a monthly ‘Inclusive Festival’, when people of all ages and all levels of disability come together for an afternoon of fun activities especially created for them.
Outreach coaching is taken to 16 primary schools and 3 secondary schools in the area, introducing tennis to over 2,300 children.
The Charity is also engaged with the local GP surgeries in a joint project to bring social prescribing to the people of Torridge. It is also working with TDC and other clubs and organisations to provide a wider network of tennis facilities across the area for people to access in their own locality.
For more information on the centre, any of our sessions or to book your court please visit www.atlanticracquetcentre.co.uk
For enquiries please call 07587782675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo below of one of the Inclusive Festivals.