Keeping tennis alive!

February 20, 2010

Last Saturday night the Bingara Sporting Club held a meeting to gauge the community support to keep Tennis and especially the Tennis Courts as a going concern in the Bingara District.

The meeting attracted approximately 40 Club and community members, these numbers far exceeded the organiser’s expectations.  The meeting decided to form a Tennis Action Group (TAG) to discuss and implement two plans, one being a Tennis Development plan and secondly a Court Work and Maintenance Plan.

Tennis NSW regional Manager Mr. Ken Ray will be in Bingara to meet with the group on Monday, February 22 at approximately 10am. Items to be discussed with Ken will range from building the Tennis Development plan, player development, coaching, competitions, promotion and financial assistance.

All of the Tennis Action Group will be meeting with Ken; the meeting is also open to anyone else who has an interest in Tennis or sport as a whole in the Bingara District. The meeting organisers feel that the more input and ideas from the community will further aid in the return of Tennis in the Bingara District.

 If you wish to attend the meeting could you please contact the Sporting Club and leave your name.

Tony Miller and Gary Foster have started preparing the courts for play; both have been at the courts for the past week hand pulling weeds and grass from the top 4 courts.  This is a slow laborious task but necessary to ensure the courts remain in a condition that will allow for court preparation and playability.

As an action from Saturday’s meeting the bottom courts have been sprayed and works will start on them over the ensuing weeks. It is very important to keep the courts weed free and in a condition that players want to return and for the community to have an asset that will ft in with keeping the town in its wonderful condition.

There is a plethora of work still required to bring them up to an acceptable level, there will be work days scheduled on a regular basis for minor renovation and the normal maintenance of the courts.

Also with the lead up to the June Long Weekend there will be plenty of work required to lift the standard of the playing surface. There are a number of people within the community that have expertise in maintaining these courts, if anyone that has done this type of work over the years could come forward and offer help, support or hand over information would be greatly appreciated.

The NSW government is currently offering Sport and Recreation Grants for Sporting facilities, our Tennis courts now match the criteria to receive such grants.  The Tennis Action Group is submitting an application for the upgrading of the top 4 courts to synthetic grass. This decision has not been taken lightly as many players prefer the ant bed surface.

The high maintenance of the current surface is extraordinary and as discussed at the meeting the increased work commitments of members and players in our small community to complete such duties are ever decreasing. So a decision was made to apply for the upgrading of the courts to synthetic grass. The Tennis Action Group has also secured “in principle” agreement for assistance in the upgrade process from the Gwydir Shire and also the local Lions Club.

Negotiations will take place over the following weeks to sort out what assistance can be offered and also to form long term partnerships with both parties.  Another action from the meeting was to have a Tennis “Weed/feed and play” evening on Sunday starting at 6:30pm. If you have a good pair of hands a rake, hoe, gloves, wheelie bin or anything else that can help please bring it along –  the more the merrier.

Once a bit of work has been done and a very quick talk to update everyone on where everything is up to, a bit of tennis will be on the agenda. Tennis has returned? Yes!