Kings Premier Health Club Guernsey is the second oldest tennis club in the world and has been a centre for Guernsey sport for more than one hundred years.
The club has a world class heritage. It was formed in 1857 as an archery club and two to three years later croquet was introduced. In the 1870’s tennis and croquet became the main sports and archery faded away. It’s believed the first tennis club was created in 1874 in Leamington Spa and a year later Kings Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was officially formed.
The club was extremely elitist and only the high classes would even be considered for membership. In the 1940’s whilst Guernsey was occupied by German forces the club was commandeered by officers. No alcohol was served at the club, high tea was served in bone china cups, and men who wanted something stronger after a game of tennis had to relocate to a nearby pub.
By the 1960’s the club was becoming less and less elitist but in 1967 tragedy struck and the club burnt down on November 5th – bonfire night.
The club lay dormant for several years while the owners tried to get planning permission to develop the site. Then in 1973 Richard and Judy Moore breathed new life into the club. This was a new modern era and signalled the start of a mini revolution in the squash world. Reg Harbour and Max Trouteaud were the coaches and from their club emerged the worlds two best ladies squash players in Lisa Opie and Martine le Moignan, as well as male pros John le Leivre and Jason Nicolle. Others were on the periphery of breaking into the professional game.
In recent years the club has produced two new racquet stars; Chris Simpson is the latest squash player from the club to turn professional and in tennis Heather Watson, who grew up at the club before moving to the Nick Bollittieri Academy in Florida, is now a professional after winning the Junior US Open in 2009.
In addition the club has also provided membership to two of motor racings hottest drivers, 2009 World Formula 1 Champion Jenson Button and four time World Touring Car Champion driver Andy Priaulx.