WHILE other sports are struggling to retain players, Hervey Bay and District Tennis Association is booming.
After months of renovations and work, past and present members will come together to officially open its new clubhouse during the association’s reunion and club championships this weekend. Funded by fundraising activities and community support, the $80,000 upgrade included an extension of its existing building, a new veranda, playground and three Hot Shots courts for children.
HBDTA vice-president Col Jobe said with up to 1200 people using the Colyton St courts every week it was vital the club had a functional facility of great standard for players to enjoy when they weren’t on the courts.
“We’ve increased our main auditorium size by 40% purely for our growing numbers and to cater for bigger events and tournaments,” he said.
“It makes it a much nicer place. “It’s not only the committee who is very happy, but we’ve had tremendous feedback from the members and that’s really unusual in a club that everyone feels happy with the design and improvements.”
The association caters for players of every age and ability, from social to competitive tennis, but Jobe said the main objective was to make it more family friendly.
“Not everyone who comes here plays tennis and when the little kids are being coached they might have a little sister or brother who just sits there and does nothing,” he said.
“We want the tennis club to be a destination where there is always something going on and something exciting to do.
“We want it to be more of a family affair because the kids are tomorrow’s tennis stars and they’re going to be out there on the courts when we’re all in nursing homes.”
The next stage will be to put some turf down and get a shade structure to cover the playground, Hot Shots courts and barbecue, which will be set up soon. Committee member Beryl Natoli said it would be a special weekend with the club championships to run over two days and official opening and reunion on Saturday night. “A lot of our past members have answered our inquiry and are looking forward to coming,” she said.
In other exciting news, HBDTA has been named a finalist for Queensland Club of the Year, with the winner to be announced during an awards night in Brisbane on November 9. HBDTA president Geoff Arnell (Geoffrey E Griffith Order of Merit Volunteer of the Year) and Ace Tennis owner/head coach Luke Harvey (Coaching Excellence- MLC Hot Shots) have also been named as finalists in their respective categories.
Article taken from the Fraser Coast Chronicle.