May 3 2012 Exclusive by Tristan Stewart-Robertson
Maryhill tennis courts Image 1
SPORTS enthusiasts turned out in force to help restore outdoor tennis courts to public use at the weekend.
The grounds, in Maryhill Park, also include a running track and campaigners wanted to increase sports provision for young people.
Initially, Glasgow Life – who run sports facilities in the city – had suggested they would report any damage to the site to police. But they later opened the gates to allow about 60 people to help with the clean-up.
Two courts should now be open for use by the end of the week.
Stephen Koepplinger spearheaded the clean-up drive. But he admits relations with Glasgow Life are still
strained. He said: “I don’t really understand what their problems are with us using the facilities.
“I want to reach out and engage with as many organisations as possible. I had all five courts looking beautiful last year but as soon as I got them done, they locked them up.
“Glasgow Life don’t want me using these facilities because I’m not a member of the Lawn Tennis Association.
“It’s very hypocritical for the Commonwealth Games host city. We already pay for the service and facilities through council tax but nobody uses them.”
Glasgow Life insist the city has invested £17million in sports facilities in six locations within walking distance of the Maryhill site – including a new £8.3 million leisure centre at Maryhill Park and numerous indoor and outdoor pitches.
A spokesman added: “Over the coming months, planned investment work will be carried out to upgrade the tennis courts and specialist work is planned for the running track.
“We allowed the group access to the site, to allow for a spring clean of the surrounding areas.
“Glasgow Life, in partnership with local clubs and other agencies, are looking at future plans for investment at the site.”