In a Turbulent Year, Wickwoods Country Club Will Not Give Up and in a Turbulent Job, Neither Will We!

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Raising the standards for sports facility projects

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We love a challenge and are not deterred by any project, situation or issue but this year, and on this particular job for Wickwoods Country Club, they have been coming thick and fast.

There’s no question that Covid-19 has hit the hotel industry hard, particularly with the cancellation of so many weddings during the summer months. Wickwoods Country Club are no exception, but they took the opportunity, while closed to guests, to be dynamic and make improvements to their facilities so they could come back stronger.

They were already running a successful tennis programme thanks in part to an air dome “bubble” which covered two courts during the winter months, which allowed play to continue for more people during inclement weather. However, this was getting tired and would soon need replacing so the decision was made to invest in a more durable and longer term covering solution, which could be fully operational throughout the year.

MD Lee Goossens says, “We wanted to find a structure that provides members with the very best of playing environments all year round. Having evaluated many options, the CopriSystems structure was chosen as it allows the sides to be drawn back during the warmer weather, thus providing an improved playing environment for members during the summer, while giving the ultimate indoor/outdoor feel.”

CopriSystems say, “We understand that every project is unique which is why we adopt a bespoke approach to each one and in this case, limited access to the courts meant that using a crane to move the steel framework was never an option. Even after we cut back a number of trees, there was still very little room to operate. Added to that was the issue of the courts being on low-slung ground, which had become so wet from all the rain recently that they couldn’t take the capacity of any heavy machinery.”

Unfazed, we opted to utilise an existing concrete ring beam from the old air dome. After strengthening it in various places we then built the structure in 75mm bespoke packers so our client could lay a new court surface once we were finished.”

We couldn’t have done it though without the help of the local farmer. With his tractor and bale trailer, which have an excellent turning radius in tight spaces, he dropped the steel off bit by bit as and when we needed it. We also hired in special all-terrain equipment including a 20 tonne, 360 degree teleboom and brought in additional man power, all out of our own pocket. Then storms Alex, Aidan and friends paid a visit! Usually the high winds would not defeat us but owing to the limited space on site, the team had to pull the 2.8 tonne court cover over the top of the dome structure by hand! Whatever it takes to get the job done and the end result looks fantastic but we’ll probably stick to using a crane wherever possible in future!”

We may have had to change our whole installation method and our tennis rackets are gathering dust right now but we’re sure that Wickwoods Country Club will be back on their feet very soon and tennis can play on once more.”

For more about CopriSystems Ltd, please click here.