Bright future for Racquets Club

The future of Lisburn Racquets Club is bright after a recent state-of-the-art extension has secured new tournments for the local club.

The club, which comprises Alpha Badminton Club, Hilden Tennis Club and the Lisburn Racquets Squash Club received £489,000 funding for the upgrade.

The work included improvement to changing rooms and the Alpha Hall, an extension to the existing reception to include sports shop and office accommodation and significant work to improve disability access levels.

Centre manager Trevor Woods commented: “The Alpha Hall, a three court hall where we started, has been completely refurbished.

“It includes an alarm system for people with visibility and hearing difficulties, which cost £60,000.

“It’s fantastic,” Trevor added “It will throw off flashing lights or sound to allow people to participate in the sport.

“The refurbishment has opened up sport to more people.

“We have two completely new disability changing rooms, with specific flooring and everything at a specific height, as well as upgrades to two changing rooms.

“We are 75% on the way to being all inclusive and we hope to reach 100% in the near future.

“At the moment the old part of the hall is not all inclusive, it is too narrow for wheelchairs, but we’d like to think we will change that in the near future.”

Speaking about the reaction to the upgrade, Trevor said: “The new reception area looks absolutely beautiful. Our members and visitors think it is fantastic.”

Trevor added: “We have secured the 4 Nations Disability Badminton Tournament from November 20-22, and I don’t think we could have had that before.

“We are one of the few venues on the island that can cater for disability badminton.

“We will also hold two new Table Tennis tournaments; the Ulster Open Championship from November 27-28 and the Six Nations in February.

“The new entrance and facilities will bring new business our way.”

Trevor concluded: “There is no doubt the last five to ten years in the current climate haven’t been good, but things have taken a turn now and this will help us.”