Tarka outdoor refurb complete in time for summer

Tarka Tennis centre is ready to capitalise on Andy Murray's Wimbledon success after the re-opening of its outdoor tennis courts.

The three courts have been refurbished by North Devon Council ahead of the facility's 10-year anniversary.

The outdoor courts had previously been an Astroturf surface, but have now been cleaned and stripped back to a hard court.

They have also been painted, with the old single shade of green replaced with a two-tone blue look, which matches the appearance of the centre's six indoor courts.

"The fact that we've gone two-tone blue really makes the court stand out and makes the baseline easier to see," said Head Coach Chris Gill.

"The hard courts will be a much better playing surface for regular tennis players. Our performance junior players will also be able to use them more, as generally they will be slower and higher bouncing than the original Astro courts.

"We are also looking into using them for netball as we look to develop our sports hub vision, bringing together more performance academies here at Tarka.

"It's obviously a great boost to have someone like Andy taking tennis to the forefront, so hopefully a few more people will feel like playing because of him, but also when they come down here they'll see some nice courts to enjoy playing on.

"There's certainly a lot more people playing, we always see plenty of new faces, the schools are breaking up and so hopefully that will increase through the summer."

The centre, which welcomes around 3,500 people a week through the door, is also running a 'Play tennis' summer scheme, which offers people new to Tarka the chance to come and play on the outside courts for just £3 an hour.

"People can get free racket and ball hire as well, just to get them to play."