ILKLEY Lawn Tennis & Squash Club have reopened a number of their courts to allow play for leisure to resume, subject to LTA guidance.

Earlier this month, the government announced that individuals can participate in unlimited exercise, including activities like tennis and golf under certain safety restrictions.

For Ilkley, these measures include each player only touching their own balls when playing singles against a person from outside a household, and doubles play only permitted if all four players are from the same household.

Ilkley LT&SC club manager, Charlie Maunder is keen to insist members are sticking to the guidelines and says the uptake has been fantastic since the resumption of play.

He said: "When you first start, it is daunting and you’re thinking, 'how is it going to work?', but everyone has managed to maintain that and we have had no issues.

"The weather is nice. People are playing until eight and nine at night. We are fully booked on most days. Active members help support the club and it gives value for them as well.

"Members have stayed to the guidelines. We have got social distancing set up and it is going really well. They have been fantastic since we have come back.

"I think it is helping with a lot of people’s stress and mental health getting them out the house."

When asked how players have dealt with knowing which ball to use, Maunder replied: "They have got to write their names on the balls.

"We have tried limiting it to two balls each and they are watching where their ball goes.

"If they can't pick it up with their hand they can scoop it up with their racket.

"There are guidelines and we are fully staffed so it is about keeping it up."

Everyone playing must be registered and there are also plenty of hand sanitisers and wash stations set-up too.

Other facilities like toilets, changing rooms and the cafe have been forced to stay shut.

Maunder added: "It is pretty much a net and two people hitting a ball. It has taken everything else away so it is pretty much car parking and tennis courts.

"We are trying to react to the conditions of the lockdown. We do have outdoor courts and that was a big condition on if you can play tennis.

"We had a look at what the home nations and US tennis guidelines were and we have adapted it for us to be able to maintain safety.

"We have not opened any indoor or any squash courts.

"We are running the operation from a shed in the office. We haven’t even opened up the clubhouse."

Last month, pre-Wimbledon competition, the Ilkley Trophy, which was supposed to be held at the club on June 15-21, got cancelled due to the pandemic.

Maunder insists the club have not made a decision on the future of tournament tennis yet.

He said: "We will see what happens with competitive play.

"International tennis has stopped until August. Domestic tennis, I think they are looking at something in August too.

"We will see how that will affect planning to reopen at the end of July, we haven’t made a decision on that yet."