Four South Australian clubs have received Federal Government funding to install an innovative online booking platform.
The grant, championed by Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Sport, is part of an initiative which aims to improve the health of Australians through sport.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said the new online booking platform, which has been piloted in all states, is already encouraging more people to take to the court and welcomed the funding announcement which will help the program expand.
“Gone are the days in tennis when you had to track down a club member to get a key for the courts before you could play,” Tiley said.
“We are now unlocking tennis clubs around Australia by providing flexible and convenient access to players at all levels, an innovative solution that is encouraging more people to take to the court.
“I’m delighted the federal government is helping more clubs become more accessible with this tremendous grant.
“Tennis provides lifelong health and social benefits, and research shows that playing the sport can increase your life span up to 7.5 years. Making courts and clubs easier to access will help us bring more people – from seasoned players who may have taken a break from tennis to first-timers – on court and into clubs to enjoy our great sport.”
The system allows players to book and pay online, receiving a PIN which will provide court access and lighting at their designated time. Connecting with a pin pad on the club gate, the payment platform is easy to use for both players and club administrators, and pilot programs have also demonstrated significant economic uplift for participating clubs.
“Australia has a long and proud history of tennis champions from Evonne Goolagong to Lleyton Hewitt and by encouraging more people to get involved playing tennis, we are encouraging all Australian’s to lead healthy and active lifestyles and potentially unearthing the next Australian Open champion,” Minister McKenzie said.
“As part of the national sport plan – Sport 2030 – our Government is committed to reducing the level of inactivity in Australia by 15% by 2030 and to do this, we need more Australians to get more active, more often.”
There are already 165 venues across Australia using the online system and over 1000 courts, so players can get their tennis fix whether away on holiday and looking for somewhere new to play, or after a social hit with friends at a local club.
The system recently won an award for Excellence in Innovation at the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Participation Awards, recognising an ASC-funded sporting organisation that continues to evolve and encourage participation through various strategies and initiatives.
To book online or learn more visit: play.tennis.com.au/court-hire