DURING the latest lockdown, Alderley Edge Cricket Club tennis section have been improving the facilities.

Three new artificial clay tennis courts have been laid, to add to the five courts which were laid in 2019.

The club now boasts eight artificial clay courts (four of which are floodlit) and a further six astro courts (four of which are floodlit).

"The weather could not have been worse during the installation period - rain then snow then rain then snow then more rain," said tennis section chairman, Ruth Samuels.

"The intrepid team of carpet layers dodged the weather and the courts were finally completed and the nets installed.

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"We just can't wait until this lockdown is over and we can get out on court and play tennis.

"These artificial clay courts are the favoured surface at the club so we are all excited to have a further three of these courts to play on."

Meanwhile, a virtual exercise club for tennis players during the current lockdown has been hailed a huge success.

It is the latest initiative of Stuart Murray, the head coach at Alderley Edge Tennis, to keep members engaged.

"This latest lockdown, I created an exercise club on Strava," he explained, with Strava being an internet service for tracking exercise which incorporates social network features.

"It's the 'Alderley Edge Tennis - Exercise To The Grand Slams' challenge and it’s been a great success as we’ve already travelled nearly 4000km and exercised for over 300 hours as a group.

"This means we’ve gone past Wimbledon, Roland Garros and I think in about a week we’ll reach the US Open!

"It’s a great idea that’s caught the imagination of the club with nearly 60 members taking part."

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Picture credit: Strava

With Murray's initiatives, members have been busy throughout the past 11 months that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I’ve created some 'at home' coaching videos which range from fun activities to coaching lessons with serious content," said Murray.

"Also on my YouTube channel there is a video which is linked to the “2.6 Challenge” that was popular in Lockdown #1

"We managed to raise a fabulous £738 plus gift aid for NHS Charities Together.

"And then for the VE Day 75th anniversary rally, we created a video whereby the members came together to send me videos of them hitting a shot and we edited them all together to show a rally that brought us all together. The aim was 75 shots and we ended up in the 90s!"

Here's a selection of the videos:

He has also hailed the work that has taken place to improve the tennis facilities at their Alderley Edge Cricket Club base.

"Eight courts have recently been resurfaced to the fantastic artificial clay surface which sees us really take our place as one of the premier clubs around – even if I’m a bit biased," he said.