As the rest of the country went tennis crazy this week, “Murray Mania” shuddered to a grinding halt in Girvan.
Conditions were perfect - the weather was warm and sunny, the kids were beginning their summer holidays ... and Andy Murray had just won the Men’s Wimbledon title. But instead of flocking to the town’s new tennis courts, disappointed youngsters were faced with a half-finished facility and locked gates.
Parents and tennis enthusiasts this week slammed the delay as a huge opportunity missed to encourage kids to take part in sport.
Two visitors to the Gazette office said they were “saddened” when their kids couldn’t use the facility. While Jane Jardine, who heads the Girvan Tennis Club commented: “This is such a shame.” She revealed that she has already been in talks with council officials in an effort to have the completion of the work accelerated. “We were told that the new courts would be ready by June 16th but that there is a problem with weeds.”
One angry parent said: “With Andy Murray winning and the weather picking up, kids would have been eager to to use the facilities. But by the time they are ready, they’ll be back at school.”
The project to upgrade the two courts began last year following the award of a £57,000 Scottish Government grant. New boundary fences have been installed and the base of the new surface has been laid. Still missing is the green top surface, line markings and nets.
South Ayrshire’s. Jill Cronin said: “The final surfacing of the tennis courts was delayed after the discovery of mare’s tail weeds growing through the tarmac on one of them.
“This tricky growth needs to be dealt with properly, but we anticipate the other court being ready in about a fortnight.”