Tennis club is smashing through upgrades to bring facility up to spec

Tennis Association members (at back) Gerrard Kelly, Karen Forbes and Fay Pampling; and (front) Cathy Potter, Christine Foster and Andrew Doig among the clubhouse upgrades.
Tennis Association members (at back) Gerrard Kelly, Karen Forbes and Fay Pampling; and (front) Cathy Potter, Christine Foster and Andrew Doig among the clubhouse upgrades.

Members of the Tenterfield Tennis Assocation can now bask in the cool glow of their accomplishments. A new reverse-cycle airconditioner is the latest in upgrades at the Wood Street facility.

The airconditioning caps an eight-year improvement program that been ‘a long journey’, according to club secretary Karen Forbes.

Initial focus was out on the court, where a huge exercise to level the playing surface was undertaken after a few players were ‘lost’ on the bottom corner. Subsequent projects included upgrading the court surface, lighting and a practice wall.

Club president Christine Foster said the surface is now much safer to play on and is more weather-proof, recovering quickly after a splash of rain.

Attention then shifted to the clubhouse where the office was renovated ahead of a bathroom facelift with new tiles, paint and fittings.

Next the kitchen – still in its original condition circa 1940 – got the ‘John Gray treatment’ courtesy of the local cabinet maker (and fire chief) with a custom kitchen, plus a new fridge to replace a relic which had been kindly donated some time ago but was proving very expensive to run.

An oven was installed, and the original floors sanded and stained, with some coordinated stools built to order.

The work has all been funded by grants and fundraisers, whose value has been maximised with the investment of a lot of blood, sweat and tears invested by members providing the labour.

The latest  $4290 grant, courtesy of charity group the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), came at a time of drought when the foundation was keen to fund facilities that fostered meeting places to support the emotional and social health of a community.

As well as providing welcoming facilities to encourage people to get involved in the sport, the clubhouse is forging a reputation as a well-equipped meeting place and function centre. It has hosted Borderline Arts, Rotary, CWA, Adult Education and private functions such as Christmas parties. It can even house small commercial enterprises like the pop-up hair and beauty salon that operates there regularly.

Mrs Foster said it’s a community asset that anyone can hire. She can be contacted on 0438 305 759 for further information.

Out on the court, tennis schedules have recently been disrupted by all the rain (although, ironically, players can get respite in the drought-financed airconditioning in the club house).

Generally there’s an ongoing competition on Monday nights and social games on Wednesday afternoons from 5.30pm, with ladies days on Wednesdays and Thursdays and junior coaching on a Thursday afternoon. 

New players are always welcome, particularly for the Monday night competition.

Next on the wishlist is a ball machine, but that’s another $5000 down the track.

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