Advantage Bradfield College: new courts have speed and slide
Bradfield College installs six new clay courts for its budding tennis stars
Bradfield College in Berkshire, a co-educational boarding school, has invested in installing six new tennis courts with an all-weather clay court system from CONICA, the global leader in sports flooring systems.
After a recent trip to the LTA National Tennis Centre at Roehampton, where the same surfacing system has been installed and used for junior and elite play over a number of years, Bradfield College’s Director of Tennis, Damian Fuller, was impressed by the bright and bold clay surfacing, which promotes consistent game characteristics, and wanted to instil the same high standards from the renowned high-performance training facility into Bradfield’s own courts.
‘Bradfield College has always played tennis however it is only in the last six years that there has been a greater focus on producing a stronger programme for both pupils and club players,’ explained Damian. ‘Notable Old Bradfieldians are Tony Billington and Tim Billington (former players and Tim Henman’s uncles), Mike Stotesbury (co-founder of Give It Your Max) and Chris Gorringe (former CEO of AELTC). The reason behind choosing clay courts was a simple one: it promotes a better understanding of both technical and tactical areas of the game. We specified CONIPUR PRO-CLAY because, quite honestly, compared with everything else we looked at, PRO-CLAY was as near to perfect as you could get. Other surfaces say that they are ‘artificial clay’, however the only characteristics they share with a genuine clay surface is the colour and that you can slide; otherwise their speed and bounce are incomparable – much to their detriment, and that of the players’ performance.”
Damian decided to test the courts at Roehampton to check that they met the high standards needed to propel play at Bradfield College to the next level. Bradfield College is quickly positioning itself as a prime facility for preparing budding young tennis hopefuls for the game, so having the right surface, as well as the right work ethic, is a vital part of the process.
“With PRO-CLAY the ball checks on impact with the court surface. It gives a slower ball speed and high bounce. The reaction has been excellent, everyone who has played on the courts so far has provided really positive feedback,’ said Damian.
CONIPUR PRO-CLAY is an all-weather, all-year clay court system that consists of a base layer of clay chippings, thickened with a unique binding agent and spread with finely crushed clay on the surface. The resulting surface guarantees excellent game characteristics, consistently, both indoors and out. Certified by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Category 1 play, CONIPUR PRO-CLAY offers four clear benefits, namely: excellent playing characteristics; play in all weather; impressive cost-effectiveness; and minimises the formation of dust.
Installed by Fosse Contracts, the superior clay surfacing is preferred by those who favour the characteristics of genuine clay courts, and specially designed for top class players.
“I recommend CONIPUR PRO-CLAY because it’s a natural clay surface and can be played all-year, all-weather,” said Robert Swatton, Director of Fosse Contracts. “It’s that simple. As well as the clear outdoor benefits, including the court being free draining, showing no irregularities and giving even ball bounce, there is even a version of PRO-CLAY for indoor tennis. CONIPUR’s PRO-CLAY INDOOR surfacing is eco-friendly and easily eliminates dust formation and the need for regular watering.’