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Ipswich vs Norwich derby has already begun – in the M&S Community Energy Fund

PUBLISHED: 06:34 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 07:39 10 October 2017

Martyn and Tracy Ward on the courts. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Martyn and Tracy Ward on the courts. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The first East Anglian derby of the season might be less than two weeks away, but an Ipswich and Norwich battle is already afoot – and you can help win it for town.

This newspaper has previously reported how Roundwood Tennis Club aims to be the first tennis club in the world to have courts resurfaced with waste plastic. It would save 300,000 plastic bottles from going to landfill and 30 tonnes of carbon emissions every year

But they face a tough battle from other community projects in the East of England which are also vying for a share of £300,000 from the M&S Community Energy Fund – including Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich, which wants to install a solar power roof system.

The winning projects will be decided by public vote and time is running out before the October 20 deadline.

The tennis club, based in Salmet Close behind Paul’s Sports and Social Club, now wants Ipswich Town supporters to throw their weight behind their cause.

• To vote, see here.

Club secretary Martyn Ward and his wife Tracy have been canvassing support at the University of Suffolk, outside M&S in the town centre, and at Ipswich Town’s training pitch.

Mr Ward said: “We are running neck and neck with the Norwich community centre. The solar panels are a worthwhile cause, but we are doing some revolutionary.

Martyn and Tracy Ward campaigning for votes for Roundwood Tennis Club at the University of Suffolk. Picture: TRACY WARDMartyn and Tracy Ward campaigning for votes for Roundwood Tennis Club at the University of Suffolk. Picture: TRACY WARD

“It would put us and Ipswich on the map. There are 23,000 tennis courts in the UK. If this process was adopted by other clubs, we would be the forerunner of that technology.

“We were at Ipswich Town’s fanzone before the last match (September 30) and were live on the Mark Murphy show. The support has been great and any more would be great. It only takes a minute to sign up and vote. Every vote really does count.”

In an ever-changing top five, the tennis club is fighting to keep top spot, closely followed by Norwich.

The club has pitched to partner up with Scottish company MacRebur. which makes roads out of waste plastic. It was the 2016 Virgin Media Business Start Up Voom Winner.

• The club also has a separate online crowdfunding page. See here to donate.

Ipswich play Norwich at Portman Road on Sunday, October 22.

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