2A George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia, 7 September 2017 | Camilla Campbell

The footprint of tennis in Queensland is stronger than ever following the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Tennis group on the first grass court ever cut into the Speakers Green at Parliament House today.

Co-chaired by Member for Stretton Mr Duncan Pegg (ALP), and Member for Cleveland Mr Mark Robinson (LNP), the group signifies a bi-partisan approach to growing the sport across the state, giving Members a platform from which to support and engage with tennis in their respective communities.

Politicians who signed up were able to play against current professional players James Duckworth (NSW) and Blake Ellis (QLD) on the Speaker’s Green.

Mr Pegg, who is passionate about sport, says it’s wonderful to be leading the bi-partisan Friends of Tennis group, bringing together fans and players of the sport from all side of politics.

“Sport is one of the country’s great unifiers, and tennis has long been synonymous with Australian culture. I look forward to exploring the ways tennis can enrich our local communities through grassroots initiatives and world-class events like the Brisbane International,” said Mr Pegg.

The Friends of Tennis group aims to promote the significance of building and strengthening tennis facilities, events, and pathways for players in all communities across Queensland; ensuring the next generation of players have the best possible chance of success.

Mr Robinson, co-chair of the group, believes it’s a unique chance for Members to connect with people who are playing and administering the sport in their local communities.

“Tennis is a sport that unifies, enriches and inspires people of all ages. I look forward to instilling the values of tennis in my community, and working to ensure playing facilities and pathways are supported for generations to come.”

Geoff Quinlan, CEO of Tennis Queensland, says having a bi-partisan approach to growing the sport in Queensland will help build on the great work being done at a grassroots level.

“Our vision is for tennis to be Queensland’s most engaging sport, and I look forward to working with members of parliament to ensure the sport reaches as many people as possible,” said Quinlan.

“Tennis is sport for all Australians, and has a strong history of community engagement and participation in Queensland. It provides equal opportunities for people of all genders, ages, backgrounds, and abilities to engage in an active and healthy lifestyle in a supportive and social environment.

“We also have a rich history of Grand Slam Champions in Queensland that we look forward to growing with the help of government; with players like Rod Laver, Mal Anderson, Wendy Turnbull, Pat Rafter and Sam Stosur all products of this great state,” he added.