Photo: Mayor Allan McGrath, President of the Murrumbateman Progress Association Greg Weekes, Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman, Murrumbateman Tennis Club President Tash Amerasinghe, Murrumbateman Fields Day Manager Tom White, Club committee member Annaliese Caston, Club Treasurer Paul Trezise, GM Chris Berry, Cr Mike Reid, Peter Sturgeon, Jake Laillard from Tennis ACT and YVC Manager of Recreational Assets Peter Harvey.

The Murrumbateman Tennis Courts recently received a $130,000 grant to resurface the courts from the Regional Sports Facility Fund by the NSW Government.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said Murrumbateman is going to be the number one sport today to be playing tennis in this region.

“I’m delighted that New South Wales government is supporting smaller communities like this to be able to build such great sports facilities,” she said.

“Last year was tough for everyone, particularly for our local sports organisations with games postponed due to COVID,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The awarding of these grants provides hope that 2022 will be a better year for sport and recreation across NSW.”

Murrumbateman Tennis Club is one among 41 regional NSW organisations to share in more than $24 million for new and upgraded sports facilities in Round 2 of the Fund.

Club president Tash Amerasinghe said once completed it’s going to be a fantastic venue.

“It’s super exciting together with the lights that we recently got as well,” she said. “It just means that we’re getting more people out playing, more families out playing and more social games.”

Tash joined the club in 2011 and said over the last few years the deterioration of the courts became more noticeable with uneven areas, dead bounces, raised lines and algae.

The current surface is 15 years old and has been preserved so far through the time and effort of the committee.

“We put a lot of our club funds through our membership, which is why we encourage membership because it maintains the club.”

When the Yass Valley Council and Murrumbateman Progress Association funded the original upgrade in 2007 the Club hoped it would lead to increased community participation. Long-time member and Club Treasurer Paul Trezise said it dramatically increased membership in a jump from about 20 members in 2007 to 120 today.

“We’re getting a lot more use of the courts from tourists visiting Murrumbate- man and staying at the hotels here because they’re looking for something else to do besides going to the wineries,” Paul said.

Membership is $170 for families, $70 for an adult and $50 for a child. The club accepts Active Kids Vouchers and memberships provides free use of the courts throughout the year.

“It’s really a facility for the community and we want to encourage the community to come out and play,” Tash said.

Paul also helped apply for the grant and said it was focused on improving the quality of the facility to take it to a regional standard level.

The new surface is ITF (International Tennis Federation) rated four, which is the medium-fast category and one of the highest quality playing surfaces.

Paul said the new surface is a more modern style, which is like a mat rather than tufts of synthetic grass.

“I’m very confident we’ll get another 15 years out of it.”

The Club is also planning to install a better surface underneath the synthetic grass. It’s currently a compacted road base but a cement slurry will be layered on top to make it more level and long-lasting.

“We’re hoping with an improved surface and with a good base underneath that it’s really going to take this facility to the next level.”

Murrumbateman Tennis Club Treasurer Paul Trezise showing a sample of the court’s new surface

Yass Valley Mayor Allan McGrath said it was great to see the NSW Government investing in a local sporting club’s future.

“I congratulate Murrumbateman Tennis Club and Yass Valley Council staff on their funding application and thank Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman for today’s announcement,” Allan said.

“Clubs, such as this one, are important meeting places for our community and it’s paramount we continue to support them as they support us to get out and about.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Fund has provided more than $49 million over two years to increase participation and promote healthy lifestyles.

By Brianna O’Rourke