World number 1 women’s tennis player Ash Barty has joined Cairns Mayor Bob Manning and Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch to serve up the latest improvements to sporting infrastructure in the region – a $2.7 million cover for centre court at the Cairns International Tennis Centre.
The 1345 square metre cover has been completed just in time as community sports return to regular competition across Cairns.
Ash Barty was joined by fellow internationally ranked tennis players John Millman, John Patrick Smith and Lizette Cabrera at the opening.
Cairns Regional Council Mayor Bob Manning said the new structure would not only protect the surfaces of the courts during the wet season and extreme heat, but also prevent loss of fixtures for athletes throughout the competition season.
“The new roof for the Cairns International Tennis Centre gives Cairns the only covered public court north of the South East corner,” Cr Manning said.
“It will provide year-round enjoyment for the region’s many tennis players, even when the Cairns weather is against them.
“More than 10,000 athletes from schools, clubs, and recreational community users access the site for tennis during the year.
“The roof looks great and will further add to Cairns city’s reputation as destination for sporting events and activities.
“We’re pleased to have the support of the Federal Government in providing these important community facilities.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said addition of the new roof to the tennis centre would build on Cairns’ sporting reputation.
“The new roof at the Cairns International Tennis Centre is a wonderful addition to our sporting infrastructure and will further enhance our growing reputation as a regional sporting powerhouse,” Mr Entsch said.
“To have the women’s world number 1 tennis player and 2019 French Open Champion Ash Barty on hand to officially open the new roof is a massive morale boost for our city and our region.”
“Ash is a role model to countless young women across the nation and the world.
“You never know, Ash’s might just inspire a local youngster to pick up a racket and embark on their own journey to become a champion.”
The new $2.7 million roof structure was funded through the Federal Government’s Building Our Future Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP) to the value of $997,000 with Council contributing a further $1.7million to the project.