Draft plans for a brand-new community tennis facility in the Canberra region – the first in over 30 years – have been unveiled, with the backing of Australian Davis Cup player/captain Wally Masur.
The proposed Gungahlin facility includes 12 International Tennis Federation standard courts and two hot shots sized courts and will be the first brand-new tennis facility in Canberra since The Pines Tennis Club was built in 1986.
Tennis ACT CEO Kim Kachel said despite the global pandemic, interest in tennis is booming in the Territory.
“We have seen a really strong return in the sport after COVID after our summer season was called off because of the smoke and autumn was cancelled because of COVID,” he said.
“Despite that, we have seen an increase of 63% of our court bookings and a 47% increase in application for our winter tennis league.
“People are seeing the benefits as a socially distanced sport and we know for mental health reasons people are using it as an outlet.”
By the national tennis facility benchmark standards, which states there should be one court per 2,000 people, the Gungahlin region is extremely underserviced.
There are over 5,000 kids participating in tennis curriculum through schools in the region, with no community facility to transition to.
The draft concept plans were released by Tennis ACT last week, in collaboration with the ACT Government, and have been endorsed by former Australian Davis Cup player/captain Wally Masur.
“Tennis is really entrenched in the local Gungahlin schools with eight out 11 primary and three out of four secondary offering tennis curriculum, be that on a basketball court or oval,” Mr Kachel said.
“These students don’t have a community club to transition to … We hope to make it a reality sooner rather than later.”
Tennis ACT have opened a survey to residents to have their say on the proposed tennis facility.
Mr Kachel said the facility would benefit the Gungahlin community widely.
“It means everyone in the community can access the sport. It’s not a coincidence that the area with the best facilities have the highest engagement rate,” he said.
“Tennis is a sport for life and a sport for all. We are proud of how diverse and inclusive we are, and we have all programs and offerings for everyone in the community.”