The fight to revive Binalong Tennis Courts has ramped up as locals met to discuss the best next steps forward.
Treasurer of the Binalong Tennis Club and President of Binalong’s Progress Association, Libby Elliot, explained why many in the community feel the court’s revival is essential.
“I think it’s very important and especially because we’re really trying to promote kids getting out and getting active. This is a sport and especially if we can get it up as a multi-sport facility, it’s just a nice way to grab a few friends and throw or hit a ball around.”
“I also think it’s important to get that social network here going again,” she said.
The aim of the meeting on Monday night for Libby and her team is to get more of the younger perspective on what they would like to see with their local tennis courts.
“I’m one of the older generation now I suppose if you’d like to say that, and I want to find out what the younger ones that are coming into town want and how they feel about it. Would they like to see it up and going because they’re the ones with the kids now and do they want to see their kids playing sports and what sport? That’s what we’ve got to work out with the community,” she said.
One of the ideas on the table is to turn the courts into a multi-faceted facility which could hold tennis, basketball and netball.
“It’d be nice if we could make it into a multi-sport centre where you could play basketball, netball or tennis.”
“I would say rather than grass, we’d be looking at concrete with rubber over the top of it,” said Libby.
The cost to just simply fix the tennis courts as they are is projected at $87k. At the moment, after winning the $1500 raffle prize at the recent Dancing with Locals event, the club has raised approximately $25k. They will now begin the process of applying for relevant grants.
The current courts have deteriorated to the point that they can no longer be safely used and are currently a wasted community space. When they were in use, Libby estimated tournaments would average around 30 competitors. These competitors have now been forced to travel out of Binalong or, more commonly, have given up the sport.
“Anyone who is interested in that kind of thing, does have to go to Yass or Harden.”
“It’s a nice little social game that you can play. You can be really good if you want to have a more serious game. We’d quite often play a comp in Spring and Autumn and it was a very social thing. Especially for new people coming into town, it’s a good way to be able to play a bit of sport and get a bit of exercise in the evening without having to be too good at it,” she said.
So far, despite regular dealings, the Binalong Tennis Club has received minimal support from Yass Valley Council.
“We have had a lot of talks with Council re the tennis courts. They haven’t yet offered us much support,” said Libby.
Whatever happens, the most important thing is that something does. Unfortunately, the courts are currently an eyesore and a poor representation of the community of Binalong.