Blacktown, New South Wales, 17 August 2013 | Tennis Australia

Tennis in New South Wales received a huge boost on Friday, with Blacktown to become the new home of Tennis Australia’s NSW National Academy.

As part of a $20 million regional and community project, the new tennis facility will adjoin the highly successful award winning Blacktown Leisure Centre and become a fully integrated tennis, fitness, indoor sports, aquatic and community precinct.

Project highlights include:

  • the development of 32 tennis courts, including 12 clay courts featuring the latest clay court construction technology developed at Macquarie University Sydney
  • the establishment of the premier multi-surface training venue for elite player development in NSW, making Blacktown, along with Melbourne Park, one of the top clay court facilities in Australia
  • the relocation of Tennis Australia’s NSW National Academy from Homebush to Blacktown with all the necessary staffing, resources and administration that support the Academy.

During a visit to the new site on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese MP announced that the Federal Government had committed $9.5 million to the project, supporting Blacktown City Council’s contribution of $10.8 million.

“This project is vitally important as both a grassroots community and tennis initiative. It will cater for the increasing demand for tennis in Sydney’s west, consistent with Blacktown being one of Australia’s fastest growing regions,” said Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood.

“As well as hosting sanctioned national and state events, the new facility will be accessible to the wider community, supporting grassroots and high performance sport as well as social, health and educational programs in Blacktown and the surrounding region.

“In particular, Tennis Australia would like to thank the Federal Government and Blacktown Council for their strong funding support for the project, as well as Tennis NSW and the Blacktown Tennis Association.

“Tennis Australia looks forward to the next generation of stars and even a Grand Slam champion coming through the Blacktown regional tennis facility.”

Head Coach of the NSW National Academy, former Davis Cup player and coach Wally Masur, was impressed with the plans.

“This is an enormous leap forward for tennis in NSW and the newly established Blacktown Academy means we can match the best in Europe,” he said.

“The 12 clay courts will enable us to have the best possible transition program for young elite talent and it is well known that playing on clay is a wonderful surface for developing young players.”

Construction on the new project is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.