Townsville, 5 April 2011 |

Funding provided by Tennis Australia’s National Court Rebate Scheme has contributed to the construction of the new Townsville Regional Tennis Centre – Kalynda Chase.

The $3.68 million project has been funded through contributions from the Queensland Government, Tennis Queensland, Townsville City Council, Urbex and Tennis Australia.

The project is one of five major tennis centres being developed throughout Queensland under the innovative Regional Tennis Facilities Program jointly initiated by Tennis Queensland and the State Government.

Under the Program, the Government and Tennis Queensland provided $8 million and $2 million respectively and then sought submissions from applicants willing to also contribute to the cost of developing these facilities in suitable locations.

The soon to be completed facility will initially have 10 Plexipave courts, pro shop, cafe, player’s lounge, community meeting rooms, a small gymnasium / personal trainer space and change rooms with associated amenities. It is envisaged a further two courts will be constructed on this site as additional funds are made available in the near future.

The new facility is located within Kalynda Chase, an exciting new residential precinct being developed by Urbex in Townsville’s rapidly growing western suburbs. The land on which thw centre was constructed had recently been gifted by property owners Langroup & Dilancorp in conjunction with Urbex to the Townsville City Council.

The Council has provided Tennis Queensland with a 10 year lease over the site and following an open tender process, Tennis Queensland has recently appointed a professional operator to manage the facility throughout the lease period.

“The Townsville Regional Tennis Centre – Kalynda Chase will first and foremost be a community tennis centre, but will also be capable of hosting major events and tournaments,” Mike Blomer, Facilities Development Manager for Tennis Queensland said.

“The courts will be available for casual hire for recreational users and the appointed Operator, LifeTime Tennis, will be offering a wide variety of tennis programs for all ages and abilities.

“Tennis Queensland is confident LifeTimeTennis will be successful as the operator of this centre. Gary Sticker, Tennis Australia High Performance Coach Member and former coach of Australian great Pat Rafter, is the owner of LifeTimeTennis, and his company currently operates a number of well-known venues, including Garden Tennis Complex in Darwin, Cairns International Tennis Centre, Nudgee College Tennis Centre in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and Ambiwerra Tennis Centre in Brisbane’s southern suburbs,” Blomer added.

Tennis Queensland hopes the new state-of-the-art centre will attract professional tennis tournaments back to Townsville, such as the Australian Pro Tour and Australian Money Tournaments. By bringing such events back to provincial cities such as Townsville, it is hoped that it will help to reinvigorate tennis in regional Queensland by exposing aspiring local players to high quality tennis.

The official opening of Townsville Regional Tennis Centre – Kalynda Chase has been delayed until the construction of the car park has been completed. A substantial amount of rain has fallen in North Queensland since late last year, while Cyclones Anthony and Yasi earlier this year have also impacted the project and region.

Current world No. 5 and the ambassador of the Court and Facilities program, Sam Stosur, said it is a very exciting time for tennis in Australia.

“We have a chance to really develop and foster tennis facilities around the nation and give every child the chance to play and enjoy tennis, a sport that has given me so much.

“The Courts and Facilities program is helping achieve this with 975 courts already approved for upgrades and more than $154 million generated in funding for facilities in the past three years.

“If we can keep building new courts and fixing some of those that are in need of repair, it will give kids more and more opportunities to play tennis on quality surfaces.

“Building tennis courts in communities is the best way to continue stimulating tennis at the grass roots and I want people to be able to discover tennis in their own neighbourhood.

“It is a great social activity for every age group and a fantastic way to keep active and fit.

“Tennis clubs are such an intrinsic part of rural communities and my hope is that these upgrades will encourage even more people to get out and enjoy the game and get the same amount of enjoyment from tennis as I have.”