Sports clubs 'raring to go' as lockdown set to ease

Players of all ages from Shrublands FC training at Southtown Common, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie

Players of all ages from Shrublands FC training at Southtown Common, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Members of outdoor sports clubs across Great Yarmouth are raring to go after three months of lockdown.

From Monday (March 29), venues including tennis courts and golf courses can reopen as part of the easing of restrictions, while formally organised outdoor sports like football will not be subject to limits on gatherings.

Kirk Towers, chairman of Shrublands FC, said most of the club's 10 teams, both youth and adult, will return to training next week at Southtown Common, with additional sessions at Gorleston Recreation Ground.

Players of all ages from Shrublands FC training at Southtown Common, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie

Players of all ages from Shrublands FC training at Southtown Common, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Other than a county cup game for one adult team in December, the last time most of its 300 members played a game was in October.

"There is a feeling people have lost a lot of time, so we can't wait to get back to a bit of normality," Mr Towers said.


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"And the parents will be happy to get the kids away from their computers."

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

The damage to the Shrublands FC clubhouse, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A year and a half ago, its clubhouse on Southtown Common was destroyed in a fire, and while the pandemic has prevented construction of a replacement building, Mr Towers hopes it will be finished this year.

Also reopening next Monday is Gorleston Tennis Club, where LTA coach Mike Reynolds said members are "raring to go".

Mike Reynolds, LTA coach at Gorleston Tennis Club

Mike Reynolds, LTA coach at Gorleston Tennis Club, said members are "raring to go" as lockdown restrictions ease on March 29. - Credit: Submitted

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"I've had numerous people calling, who want to get started. I have a full day on Monday, coaching adults, cardio tennis, children's coaching, a bit of visual impairment training.

"People are showing more interest in the sports that allow social distancing," he added.

Annual membership at the club starts on May 1 every year.

"Last year, we were in lockdown on May 1, so it did affect membership a bit. We lost a few members who didn't rejoin, but we hope people will come back and resume their tennis activities again," Mr Reynolds said.

Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club. The view across the course.Picture: James Bass Photography

Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club. The view across the course.Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: James Bass

Tim Starbuck, manager at Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club, said members of the club are "champing at the bit" to get back on the course.

"There has been a lot of interest. It's very well booked. And we've had a lot of people enquiring about joining. Golf seems to be having a bit of a resurgence."

The club employs nine full-time staff, all of them now back at work, preparing the grounds.

"The course needs a bit of TLC after a long lay-off," said Mr Starbuck.

"As soon as the sun peeks over the horizon on Monday, there will be people out there playing golf," he added.

  

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