Derbyshire company serves up an ace with donation to local tennis court

The village of Hazelwood near Duffield has a working tennis court once again thanks to a generous donation from local company Lubrizol.

A Derbyshire company has made a smash-hit donation to a local tennis court by helping pay for a resurfacing project so it can be played on once again. Lubrizol, which has its UK headquarters in Hazelwood near Duffield, has donated vital funds to enable the tennis court on the village’s playing field to be resurfaced. The court has been there since the 1950s but has not been able to be used since before the Covid pandemic because it had fallen into disrepair.

Lubrizol representatives joined local villagers for a re-opening ceremony in which veteran player Sheila Bowling, 88 – who competed as a junior at Wimbledon in 1953 - did the honours by cutting the ribbon. Sheila, who for many years was a trustee of Hazelwood Playing Field – home to the tennis court - said it was a pleasure to open the newly resurfaced facility so that players from the local area could practise their racket skills once again. Current trustee Martin Farrell, who organised the opening ceremony, said: “This tennis court is a fabulous asset to the village and it’s with great pleasure that we are opening it again. Thanks so much to Lubrizol for giving us such a generous donation so that people can enjoy our court in the years to come.”

Hazelwood Parish Council chair Keith Walker added: “We’re very lucky in Hazelwood to have some great amenities such as our tennis court and bowls green. Thanks so much to Lubrizol for being a good neighbour and providing funds to enable the court to be resurfaced. We’re very grateful to them for their support.”

Cllr Walker said the parish council wanted to see many local people out and enjoying themselves on the tennis court as well as a recently opened community café which is situated next to the playing field. He said: “During Covid lots of people weren’t getting out of their homes which was a bit of a worry. I hope that Hazelwood residents will be able to come out and enjoy the community café as well as the lovely green space provided by our playing field too.

This year marks 75 years that Lubrizol has had its UK headquarters at “The Knowle” in Hazelwood, the company having been part of a three-way deal to have taken on the grand old stately home in 1947. Claire Hollingshurst, quality systems manager at Lubrizol’s Hazelwood office, said: “It has now been three quarters of a century that we have been based in Hazelwood and over the years we have tried to be as good a neighbour as we can.

“Promoting exercise for both physical and mental health is central to our core values at Lubrizol so we were delighted to have the opportunity to donate to the resurfacing of the village’s tennis court. It’s great to see it open and looking fantastic once again. Let’s hope it can now be enjoyed for many years to come.”

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