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Surrey.Tennis 2017/2018

A review of all the activities in Surrey Tennis in 2017/2018 Published by Surrey.Tennis

venue court technology

venue court technology ould this be the technology to replace court bubbles? A C Kent-based manufacturer called Streetspace is offering all-weather roof canopies (called Sportspace 365) designed to shelter tennis courts from the rain. Priced around £135,000 per court, each canopy costs more than a bubble but, crucially, since there are no electric fans, they incur very little in running costs. Nigel Deacon is Streetspace’s sales director. He explains how the canopy features a PVC tensile membrane stretched across a steel frame. The sides and ends are open, allowing fresh air to flow beneath the canopy, while the membrane is translucent so that during daylight hours no lights are needed. The membrane itself is strong enough to withstand wind, rain and snow. On standard designs there is nine metres between the court and the roof - enough for all but the most ambitious of lobs. Interestingly, the technology behind the canopy hails from Australia where it was primarily developed to provide protection from harmful UV rays. At this end of the planet, it’s more likely to be rain that tennis players worry about. Fortunately PVC proves to be just as waterproof as sunproof. Streetspace only recently entered the tennis market, so it hasn’t yet constructed a canopy over a tennis court, although it has experience with similar structures at schools and colleges around the UK, mainly covering playgrounds and outdoor social areas. Deacon claims he is talking to “a lot of tennis clubs and private schools” about future installations. At this stage, he wouldn’t reveal which ones, although it’s understood one of them is the Surrey club Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club, in southwest London. Despite this lack of tennis experience, Deacon points out that his technology 16 surrey tennis magazine

The membrane is strong enough to withstand wind, rain and snow and stands 9m high. already has an excellent track record on general sports courts in Australia and New Zealand. He stresses how his court canopies work best above porous tennis court surfaces such as artificial grass, clay or macadam. There’s a 20- year warranty on the product, however Deacon says it will last for at least 25 years. When it comes to British clubs, Deacon is very ambitious. He admits the new design will “take a little while to gain traction” but envisages eventually installing around 15 structures a year. “Predominantly tennis but also basketball courts, netball courts, and over cricket nets,” he adds confidently. The membrane itself is strong enough to withstand wind, rain and snow.” surrey tennis magazine 17