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SINGLETON Tennis Club is starting the New Year with a bang, well more a laying down thanks to the returfing of two of its courts with synthetic grass at a cost of $46,200.

The work which will take five days to complete started this week and was made possible thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Singleton Sports Council.

And this work is just the start of a big refurbishment program planned for the club this year. Council approval has just been granted for $127,000 worth of works on the site that include extending the Pro-Shop, building a new green keepers shed and adding lighting to the natural grass courts.

The last project is something really special as the lights will most likely make the Singleton Club the only one in the state to have lights operating on grass courts. Other work included in the development approval is the construction of two “Hot Shot” courts designed specifically for the modified junior game. These courts are smaller in size, have a lower net and the players use smaller rackets and softer balls making it the ideal introductory tennis game for the younger players.

Singleton Club, treasurer Mark Rix said the work already carried out at the club which included $37,000 spent last year on lighting upgrades, was all part of the club’s five year management plan to improve access to junior and senior players, provide excellent facilities for playing and coaching and increase membership. “Thanks to our coach Gary Brenton from the Hunter Tennis Academy our coaching business continues to grow and that’s great,” Mr Rix said. “But like most local sporting clubs the challenge is to find ways to improve and maintain our sporting facilities”. “We will continue to apply for grants to assist our efforts because good tennis facilities don’t come cheap”. Mr Rix said the club had resurfaced two courts four years ago for $40,000 and since that time the cost of replacement turf has risen by around 13 per cent.

The latest work is being undertaken by Sport Technology International a Sydney based company recommended by Tennis NSW. The choice of turf is Omnicourt Pro. Mr Rix said the club wanted to thank the extensive research work undertaken by committee member Paul Brown. “We wanted to get the best product at the most competitive price and Paul did a great job looking at everything on the market and doing the sums for us,” he said. Next week coach Gary will be heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open with six juniors and 12 senior players who will not only be watching play but also being able to play tennis each day and have coaching sessions with the coaches from Tennis Australia.


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