T he absence of sporting action over the last few weeks has been hugely frustrating for Sale Sports Club after it underwent major changes.
A summer of cricket and tennis at their smart new clubhouse on Clarendon Crescent is in danger of being wiped out by Covid-19.
The complex, with its magnificent lounge and balcony, opened last August and was already a thriving hub of community leisure activity.
That all came grinding to a halt when the pandemic struck.
Funds for redevelopment had come from the sale of land to a house builder who put up 10 five-bedroomed semi-detached homes. These are protected from flying cricket balls by an adjustable net.
Four other properties are nearing completion by Dane Road junction. Here, the old familiar clubhouse was knocked down after providing a host of post-match memories for rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis and football players.
Once work is finished, access to the club car park will be via Clarendon Crescent, with vehicles exiting on Dane Road.
The big question is when will everything get going again? The new tennis courts could be the first to re-open as trustees monitor government advice closely.
Matt Whiteley, Chair of the Sale Sports Club Board of Trustees, said: “As with every business and household, we still have bills to pay and we’re grateful for the government support so far.
“All the staff have been furloughed with the exception of the groundsman who’s been keeping the club and grounds in great condition ready for the exit from lockdown.
“We want to be able to open the doors when permitted and have the club back to the thriving heartbeat of the community it was before closure.
“There are many plans in development, ranging from social events, team activities, community engagement and business opportunities.”
The two-storey clubhouse has seven changing rooms and an exercise room which has been used for table tennis, darts, yoga, pilates and life drawing classes. It has also hosted business seminars and meetings.
More than 600 members are attached to clubs which include cricket; rugby; hockey; tennis; Sale Ladies FC; FC Sporting Sale Juniors and Manchester Village Spartans rugby. The ‘Old Rec’ across the road is also used as a venue.
Cricket facilities are so impressive that Cheshire’s junior sides have played there and the club are building ties with Lancashire County Cricket Club.
Sale Sports Club which has a proud heritage.