Melbourne VIC, Australia, 20 November 2015 | Tennis Victoria

A new initiative designed to “open up” tennis courts across the state is set for expansion following a successful pilot program launched by the Victorian government, Tennis Australia and Tennis Victoria.

In a move designed to radically improve the way players access courts, the “Opening Up Tennis” program links online court booking software to gate and lighting hardware.

This innovation allows both club members and casual users to book their court conveniently online and independently manage the court facilities.

Tennis Australia invested $500,000 into the online booking software, with the Victorian government injecting $250,000 into the project managed and implemented by Tennis Victoria.

Fifteen tennis clubs across the state have since established online booking systems and court hardware.

Ten new tennis clubs across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including Keysborough, Melton South, Royal Park and Wodonga, will join the successful enterprise.

“Tennis is a great way to keep fit and healthy and make new friends. ‘Opening Up Tennis’ means players can have a hit day and night, but not at the expense of our hard-working volunteers,” said Minister for Sport, John Eren.

Added Tennis Victoria Chief Executive Officer Matthew Kennedy: “This new initiative is a game changing move for tennis. When the Australian Open starts in 2016 we will have 25 tennis venues across Victoria participating in this hugely successful ‘Opening Up Tennis’ program, including five in the City of Melbourne and five in regional Victoria.

“It’s wonderful to see 10 more venues now able to benefit from this initiative, as we strive to make our sport even more accessible. This new program reinforces that the fence around a tennis court is to keep the balls in, not to keep the community out.”

“We are already seeing more people playing tennis at the club since using the online booking software and installing the ‘Opening Up Tennis’ gate technology,” Princes Hill Tennis Club President Peter Mattessi said.

“In the past, players had to write their name on photocopied booking sheets and then pick up a key to the courts from the local milk bar. Now, members and non-members alike can book online and have no problem getting into the courts.”

Online booking currently offered at …

Anglesea Tennis Club (TC) – Surf Coast Shire
Ararat City TC – Ararat Rural City Council
Aspendale TC – City of Kingston
Bruce Park TC – Frankston City Council
Carlton Gardens TC – City of Melbourne
Chelsea Heights TC – City of Kingston
Eildon Park TC – Knox City Council
Kensington Banks Tennis Courts – City of Melbourne
Kilmore TC – Mitchell Shire Council
Montrose TC – Yarra Ranges
North Park TC – City of Melbourne
Parkdale TC – City of Kingston
Princes Hill TC – City of Melbourne
Saltwater TC – City of Wyndham
Yamala Park TC – Frankston City Council

Online booking soon to be offered at …

Buninyong & District TA – City of Ballarat
Karingal Drive TC – Banyule City Council
Keysborough TC – City of Greater Dandenong
Longbeach TC – City of Kingston
Melton South TC – Melton City Council
Mildura Lawn TC – Mildura Rural City Council
Overport Park TC – Frankston City Council
Royal Park TC – City of Melbourne
West Lalor TC – City of Whittlesea
Wodonga TC – City of Wodonga