Prestwick Tennis and Fitness

So Much More Than a Tennis Club

Situated in Whinfield Place, just off the main Ayr Road, lies one of the top tennis and fitness facilities in Scotland. Prestwick Tennis and Fitness is a not-for-profit organisation aspiring to be accessible and inclusive to all.

In additional to the eight outdoor courts (four artificial grass and floodlit, and four tarmac) the purpose-built facility can also boast four indoor acrylic courts and the impressive Aspire Gym. Not forgetting the on-site café.

The centre was launched in 2003, thanks primarily to Jan Collins, MBE, who invested heavily in the project in order to promote the sport of tennis in Ayrshire. Funding was also secured from Sportscotland, the National Lottery Community Fund, and the Lawn Tennis Association. Also on board since day one were Stewart Rogerson (now Club Chairman) and Janice Rogerson (now Club Manager).

As a not-for-profit organisation, it relies on a combination of membership subscriptions and income derived from tennis classes and court usage. In order to ensure its continued success in delivering one of the largest tennis programmes in Scotland, the centre also provides other activities such as badminton, table tennis and pickleball.

Pickleball is the fastest growing racket sport in the world. It’s played on a smaller court with a paddle-type racket and a hollow plastic ball, over a slightly lower net than tennis and with a scoring system similar to that of badminton.

“Most people, if they can play table tennis,” says Stewart, “they can play pickleball. It’s really taken off in the States, particularly now that ex-professionals like John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff are playing exhibition matches over there.”

The new sport is also proving popular in Prestwick. So much so that in addition to the adult sessions on a Thursday and a Sunday, pickleball is soon to be introduced to children as well.

But there’s another new racket sport that’s also rapidly growing and which will soon be played at Prestwick Tennis and Fitness.

“Padel tennis is different again,” Stewart confirms. “It’s like tennis in a cage! Hopefully, within the next few months we’ll have a covered padel court here as well.”

Janice adds: “Padel tennis is a bit like squash where you’re hitting the ball off the walls. Padel tennis is now under the umbrella of the Lawn Tennis Association.”

The inclusion of these additional sports not only improves the facilities at the site but also increases the choice available to both members and non-members, thus ensuring that Prestwick Tennis and Fitness continues to be accessible to all.

“We’re here for the benefit of the community,” Stewart says, “and people can access it all year round.”

Kingcase Primary School does just that. Students from the school have been attending the facility since it first opened in 2003. Classes are also available for wheelchair users and for adults and juniors with learning difficulties.

Being able to cater for all is a priority for Stewart and Janice. That community involvement, coupled with the growing of the sport, was what motivated Jan Collins to open the facility over two decades ago. With this in mind, there are tennis classes for tots, all the way up to adults, whether they are playing for fun, to keep fit, or to progress.

“In the last 20 years, we’ve produced a number of kids that have gone on to county or national level. It’s a performance centre as well,” Stewart says.

The six recently refurbished outdoor courts at Ayr Fort also form part of Prestwick Tennis and Fitness, increasing its facilities and outreach still further.

Prestwick Tennis and Fitness is situated in the heart of the community, for the community.

Family-friendly, competitively priced, and with some of the best facilities in Scotland, it is so much more than a tennis club.

You can find Prestwick Tennis and Fitness at 1 Whinfield Place, Prestwick, KA9 2TS and at www.prestwicktennisandfitness.co.uk. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 6am–10.30pm, Saturday 7am–6pm, and Sunday 7am–9m. For details of classes, fees and facilities, call 01292 474700.