Bundoora, 30 March 2011 | tennis.com.au

Funding provided by Tennis Australia’s Courts and Facilities Program has enabled Bundoora Tennis Club in Melbourne to upgrade two of their 30 year old en tout cas tennis courts with the modern Plexicushion surface.

The $233,000 project took more than 24 months to complete and was managed by Bundoora Tennis Club in partnership with the Banyule City Council.

“Prior to the construction commencing, the club worked quite closely with the club members, technical advisors from Tennis Victoria, and after providing informative guidance including example cases we then sat down with Banyule City Council.

The ensuing months brought together all stakeholders objectives and we went from there and ran with the detailed and multi faceted project,” James Copes, Vice President of the Bundoora Tennis Club said.

Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Banyule City Council also contributed significantly to the funding of the project, which included four en tout cas court rebuilds, new court fencing and lighting for four courts.

“Bundoora Tennis Club did a lot of research into the surfaces available, as well as pros and cons including  costs.  In addition, our members were surveyed on their thoughts regarding the view of key infrastructure upgrades and surface preferences,” Copes explained.

“Construction started mid to late 2008 and was not completed until November 2010.  Banyule City Council must be given credit for completing this difficult multifaceted project that comprised two different surfaces, fencing and lighting.“

On Sunday13 February this year the Bundoora Tennis Club celebrated the official launch of the new Plexicushion courts and additional upgrades.  The day was a success and enjoyed by all 150 guests.  A highlight of the day was the exhibition match featuring Australian tennis great John Fitzgerald and representatives of Banyule City Council and Bundoora Tennis Club.

“Members of our club and local community will reap the benefits of these court upgrades for many years to come,” Copes said. “I believe the new courts and infrastructure upgrade will help us attract new members to our Victorian Pennant Teams and increase participation in our programs.

“Bundoora Tennis Club offers a great range of programs including Tennis Australia’s kids’ starter program, MLC Tennis Hot Shots, Mums in Tennis, and school holiday activities. Recently we launched a new All Abilities tennis coaching program in partnership with Banyule City Council, to encourage local organisations to participate in fortnightly or monthly sessions.

“You don’t need to be a member to participate in some of our programs, casual visitors are welcome,” Copes added. “Our club is 45-years-old, it is open all year round and offers a great social environment; we have some families who now have their third generation playing, I have been involved for the past 20 years and have gained a great set of friends through the club, and I know many other members are in a similar situation,” Copes said.

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.”