Local sport continues its winning streak with the official opening of the new Eltham Multi-use Courts at Andrew Park.
Deputy Mayor Ben Ramcharan, Edendale Ward Councillor Natalie Duffy and Wingrove Ward Councillor Geoff Paine today joined Eltham MP Vicki Ward, who officially opened the upgraded courts on behalf of Minister for Local Government, Suburban Development and Veterans Shaun Leane.
The opening took place during the Eltham Tennis Club’s open day celebrations.
The $1.4 million upgrade included the construction of an additional three multi-use courts, bringing the total number of courts at the park to 10.
One of the courts has a synthetic clay surface line marked for HotShots junior tennis, while the other two have line markings for futsal and have a low-impact plexi-cushioned surface suitable for older adults and provide opportunities for the club to offer wheelchair tennis.
Deputy Mayor Ben Ramcharan thanked the Victorian Government for the $1.4 million grant through the Growing Suburbs Fund which enabled Council to deliver the upgrade.
“Prior to this upgrade, there weren’t enough courts to cater for demand and the club was forced to hire additional courts in other municipalities for their junior competition,” Cr Ramcharan said.
“I’m really pleased these courts are now more inclusive increasing opportunities for our residents to get out and get active, particularly young people, older adults and people with disability.
“I would again like to thank Vicki Ward for her passionate advocacy which was so instrumental in enabling this project. It is yet another example of Council collaborating with representatives from other levels of government to achieve a great community outcome.”
Cr Duffy said the extra courts had been a boost for the Eltham Tennis Club, with membership numbers now at their highest level in 10 years.
“It’s so important for our physical and mental wellbeing to be able to get out, get active, connect with other people, particularly after the past couple of years. Sport is a great connector, a way of being involved in our community,” she said.
Eltham Tennis Club President Jeremy Snowden said the new courts had proven popular with both members and the general public.
“They have attracted new members to our club because they are new, look great, are spacious, and allow us to offer all surfaces to play on as well as coach different levels of tennis,” he said.
“They are very popular with public court hirers, partly because they are no-maintenance – you can just come and play and walk away rather than having to water and bag the other types of courts at the end of a game.
“The new book-a-court system which was added as part of the project has also made it easy for anyone to book and pay for a court online.”