Anyone for tennis? Anne Keothavong officially opens Hackney Downs tennis courts

Hackney-born Anne Keothavong officially opened the new tennis facilities at Hackney Downs yesterday (Tuesday 4 October).

The British number three gave tennis tips to a group of around 25 children from Hackney City Tennis Club. Marley Silcott, 11, a Mossbourne Academy pupil and ranked tenth in the UK in the 11 years and under category, said: "I really like the new courts, the surface is really smooth and the floodlights mean we can practice outside even when it s dark. I train six times a week and hope to become a professional tennis player."

Anne Keothavong said: “It is really nice to be back here and I’m really glad to see the new courts in person and seeing them being used.
“They are completely different to when I grew up playing on them and its fantastic to see so many young kids picking up a racket and playing the sport.
“Now with the floodlights in place, providing that the weather is nice, they can be used all year round.”

Hackney Council s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane said: "It s essential that we work to provide the best facilities in order for our talented young sportspeople to train and progress in their chosen activities, as well as inspiring others to enjoy sport and the outdoors. These new courts are a great addition to the offer in our green spaces and the installation of floodlights, mean they ll be in action all year round."

Hackney Downs, one of Hackney Council’s parks has undergone a £1million makeover and now boasts a new pavilion, tennis courts, Multi Use Games Area and a resurfaced of the basketball court.

The park now has five tennis courts, two have been resurfaced thanks to funding from the Big Lottery and two additional floodlit courts have been built thanks to £97k from the Lawn Tennis Association with support from Sport England.

The fifth court on Hackney Downs is due to be resurfaced soon by Hackney Council, and by 2012 the area will have a five fantastic tennis courts.

The park pavilion is now open and bookings are being taken for the changing rooms. The single storey pavilion boasts the ranger’s office, public toilets a community room and two team changing rooms. The building is clad in wood clad and will generate a proportion of its energy needs from solar panels located on its green sedum roof.

Hackney Council, The Learning Trust, Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the Big Lottery have all supported and funded the new facilities at Hackney Downs.

Hackney Downs is a satellite site for Hackney City Tennis Club allowing individuals and clubs to book and use the facilities.

To find out more about sports facilities in Hackney’s parks visit

You can also follow us at or