Tennis in Kilworth dates from the early twentieth century. By then the old Mount Cashell demesne of Moore Park had become a major training centre for the British Army, and on the brow of a hill commanding a beautiful view over Kilworth village and surrounds – in what later became Pad Stanton’s land – grass courts were laid on a cinders base for the use of the officer corps. With the departure of the British in 1922, the courts transferred to the newly established Kilworth Tennis Club that in a short time would boast a membership of sixty young men and women.
When the carve up of Moore Park took place in 1959 the Land Commission offered the club a new site with road frontage immediately adjacent to the GAA playing field at the generous rate of £45-0-0 per acre. The offer was accepted and two grass courts were duly laid. Initially, the club prospered but as time passed interest began to wane. It became clear that a grass surface was no longer practical option if there was to be a vibrant club and in 1962 two tarmacadam courts were laid. This seemed to halt the decline and there was an initial boost in membership. But in due course the club again began to falter and finally it became defunct leaving a debt of some hundreds. The matter became one of great concern and featured as a topic for discussion at the monthly Muintir meetings from the early 1970s.
At the AGM of 1972, with Paddy Kenny in the Chair, Dr O’Flynn raised the matter formally. Calling for a take over of the site in full accord with legal requirements, he appealed to the original trustees who had guaranteed the debt to facilitate the process. Son O’Connor, one of the original guarantors, endorsed Sean’s view at the meeting and urged that the transfer to Muintir take place at the earliest possible date. There was general agreement, formal consent of all the guarantors followed and in the following months the Muintir guild assumed legal responsibility for the tennis club site with its moss covered courts.
At an early stage of the Sports Complex planning an undertaking had been given that two new tarmac courts would be laid in succession to the original two that of necessity would be removed to provide space for the new sports building. When the Complex project was finished the undertaking was honoured, two courts were laid and the Tennis Club was revived. It was 1984 and there now emerged a club well set to prosper under the watchful eye of a supportive management committee that would report to the Community Council.
Funding from the Complex project played a prominent part in promoting the fledgling club and crucially the entire enterprise – Tennis Club and Sports Complex – was free of debt.
Since then enthusiastic exponents of the game have worked tirelessly to put the club on a sound footing: floodlighting was installed in 1995 and two new tarmac courts were laid in 1984-85. Floodlighting – installed with seed capital loaned by the Community Council – followed in 1995 and this allowed for a greater use of the courts. In 1997, the two courts were resurfaced and in a bold move in 2001 all-weather courts were laid down. The scene was now set for intensive court use and the club began to prosper to a greater degree than ever before.
A viewing gallery followed in 2004 and in 2010 solar panels were installed and both dressing rooms and courts were refurbished. Today the club is a flourishing institution where children are coached by committed adults dedicated to fostering the game in Kilworth and where adults enjoy the thrill of lively ball play in a convivial atmosphere. It functions under the aegis of the Community Council and
in the final analysis is answerable to it. The success that characterises Kilworth Tennis Club is largely due to those visionary Muintir members of forty years ago who took the matter on hand. The club can now boast that it is one of the most vibrant tennis units in the county and the continuing dedication of a its small number of long standing officials bears eloquent testimony to the core ideals of Muintir na Tíre.
History of the club reproduced from http://www.kilworthcommunitycouncil.com/kilworth-tennis