Launceston, 15 October 2010 | Tennis Australia

Samantha Stosur, Australia’s No.1 player and ambassador for Tennis Australia’s Courts and Facilities program, is set to visit the new $2.4 million Launceston regional sports centre on Monday 31 January 2011.

Stosur will head to Tasmania after the Australian Open to prepare for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Tie against top ranked Italy.

The current world No.8 is looking forward to checking out the new facility in Launceston and 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 904 courts already approved for upgrades and more than $148.5 million generated in funding for facilities in the past three years.

“If we can keep building new courts and facilities 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 communities and my hope is these types of 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.

“I am particularly excited that we have got to a point where local, state and the federal government are working together, alongside tennis associations, to develop a project of this magnitude.

“From what I have been told the new regional tennis centre will be a huge asset for Launceston, Tasmania and the larger tennis community and I can’t wait to see it for myself.”

Work on Launceston’s $2.4 million regional tennis centre is nearing completion, with the centre expected to be finished on 12 December this year.

The tennis centre is attached to the Launceston Indoor Sports Arena and includes nine Plexipave courts and two synthetic clay courts.

The project was funded with $1.4 million from the Tasmania State Government, $500,000 from the Australian Federal Government, $400,000 from the Launceston City Council and $110,000 from Tennis Australia through the National Court Rebate Scheme.

The need for a facility of this type was identified a number of years ago and the redevelopment has been a great example of local, state and federal governments working with  state sporting associations such as Tennis Tasmania  for a positive community outcome.

This new facility will allow tournament organisers to have a central tournament venue, rather than the current model where up to seven different facilities are used for larger tournaments.